Our "MUSE" project was shortlisted in the international architectural competition "Pause"


The theme of the competition "Pause " it was : "Building a place for contemplation and meditation" in FUKUOKA, JAPAN and was held on the UNI platform.

With the development of society, we are stimulated by sophisticated media, excessive consumption and other complex environments, accelerating the pace of our life rhythm, and It also brings more pressure. In this case, it is necessary to slow down and meditate that help us relax, deep in thought and increase happiness.

The purpose of the "Pause" competition it was to design a place for contemplation, create a spiritual utopia, and achieve a perfect balance between individual meditation and group meditation in this space. Of course, also needs to consider that it should provide overnight space for people who coming from afar.

The main design concept of “MUSE” it was to create a place for meditation. It takes the structure of Japanese temples and Zen gardens as references and line with the Chinese principles of fengshui. Paying much more attention to the human scale enables this construction to create a positive influence on the emotional state of users. Meanwhile, the construction aspect was weakened by sensory inputs.


The entire meditation area is contained in an internal courtyard, which contains a large Zen garden and pond, with covered colonnades and walkways, surrounded by walls, and protective and impenetrable (stone wall 4m high).

The other side consists of some portals (approximately 9m high), huts hanging over the nearby river and forest area, opened by elevated walkways and separated from the ground, at the same time enhancing the human spirit.

In the design of the architectural complex, architects requested in the original brief that it should include public areas dedicated to meditation (personal and for groups), facilities, restaurants, cafes and tea rooms, workshops and interactive spaces.

At the same time, private areas are designed, such as spaces for people to spend the night.

Exterior View of the Apartments for visitors

The group meditation space receives light through skylights on the roof, and the combination of zenith lights and wood-covered internal sloping walls gives people an intimate feeling. We noticed that the "steps" system is an important part, it not only allows users to have more space for meditation, but it can also be used for ceremonies or meetings to attract more people to participate.


The whole project attaches importance to natural features, maximizing the integration of architecture with nature. The personal meditation area is completely open to the existing trees and the large glass windows, green fills the entire inner courtyard. Using large windows as curtain walls and creating open views of the garden, transparency and the passage of natural light are promoted.

3D Model

Sources: https://uni.xyz/competitions/pause/entries

https://www.matteoborsetti.com/muse

Image’s sources: https://www.matteoborsetti.com/muse


Design Project by MBA Architects Team's / Arch. Matteo Borsetti + Arch. Alberto Muneratti © 2021

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