College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Architectural Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 2

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Architectural Engineering

College - Author 3

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 3

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree - Author 3

BS in Architectural Engineering



Primary Advisor

Kevin Dong, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Architectural Engineering Department


The Center for Centering (C4C) is a meditative center for individuals to reflect and discover their own creativity. Based on a spoke and wheel concept, the center integrates social, sensory, environmental, and inductive spaces, allowing for individuals to discover themselves in different settings, while appearing as a striking sculpture conceived in a spiral gesture integrated in the local landscape.

The location for this structure is in Santa Cruz, CA, on Swanton Ranch. The building is built on mostly flat terrain surrounded by sparse trees and an overlooking view of the ocean.

The initial concept for the Center for Centering is inspired by the naturally layered structure of a succulent. This project is intended to be a place where residents can self-reflect and discover their own creativity in the direct contact of nature.

The C4C structural dome houses four different experiential spaces; a social space within the dome, for connecting with others; surrounded by warm timber elements and shaded by the shadows of the woven dome, with a light breeze blowing past you and through the building. An inductive space, representing a place for solitude; for meditation; for quiet reflection.  A shallow indent on the floor will be filled with small clay balls, providing a space for visitors to lay back and relax, gazing up to the open sky above that will be visible through a ceiling opening resembling a human shape, reflecting in spirit the person lying down. A sensory space; a space with a large gong-like bowl affixed to one wall, inviting visitors to touch it, to engage with the bowl to emit sound that will resonate in the space, in the visitors’ ears, as well as through their body. And lastly, an environmental space; incorporating movement by inviting visitors to wander through a floor-level labyrinth.

The main goal of the senior project design team was to provide two clients, Marcos Lutyens and Cynthia Campoy Brophy, with a practical schematic design that can be used to present the project to possible donors. By joining ARCH 551 for the quarter, the team was tasked to the “structures group”, whose goal would be to absorb architectural ideas and feedback from architects, professors, clients, and others, then assess the structural viability of them. Through the experience of the design team, the team was able to give the clients a more engineering-focused viewpoint.

The structure of the building is composed of discontinuous timber pieces that form the main diagrid form of the main dome. The members are pin-connected, with a compression ring at the tip and where the dome meets the walls of the sensory spaces. The bottom of the dome is supported by concrete columns that curve in-plane to allow the form of the dome structure to be fully realized to the foundation. The pathway is made up of a series of three-hinged arches, also made with discontinuous timber pieces. The three spaces at the Northern face of the dome are designed with concrete, to allow for the free-form shapes which the architecture demands.