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Every culture, every civilization of which we are aware, has a belief system that reflects our spiritual nature. The Snyder Sanctuary represents the challenge of creating a design and space that reflects this reality and one that will bring people of all cultures together.
The Sanctuary is both a place of refuge and a spiritual place that is set apart from the everyday world. It is a place for meditation, music, celebration, and dialogue, unaffiliated with any religion, where students are encouraged to explore different beliefs and shared values.
The program includes a 1,700-square-foot sanctuary, a 2,000-square-foot wing with a lobby, lounge, preparatory room, and state-of-the-art classroom. The space often is used for chamber music concerts, poetry readings and classes.
The Sanctuary draws on various elements to reflect a variety of concepts about spirituality found in cultures across the Earth and connects them with timeless themes found throughout nature. Seven walls lean on each other to create a spiral form. The walls are structurally interdependent. This aspect of the design is meant to symbolize the interdependence of all living things.
The spiral form is seen throughout nature in galaxies, flowers, and hurricanes. It’s a natural, mathematical pattern repeated throughout the universe—giving a sense of movement and permanence. Skylights allow natural light to fill the room with changing patterns throughout the day; A labyrinth outside of the main building references some of the oldest spiritual ritual patterns.