Peace Palace of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX
Architect: Contacts Without Company
The Peace Palace, located in the lush pines of The Woodlands, Texas, is an education and treatment center dedicated to the art of Transcendental Meditation. Designed in a style known as Maharishi Vedic Architecture, the building is a modern interpretation of the ancient system of Vedic Architecture devised to bring peace, harmony, and success to life by aligning the living environment with natural law utilizing natural building materials, great precision, and proportionality.
The façades of the Peace Palace are a blissful fusion of simplicity and complexity in perfect harmony. With a quick glance, a visitor will notice the simplicity of the all masonry exterior composed of only two materials: natural clay brick and white marble-based cast stone. But closer observation reveals a symphony of detailing in the design and the intricate motifs that abound in the cast stone. Ornamentation includes multiple level columns, each with decorative bases and capitals that host a myriad of details including lotus flowers, keystones and Vedic patterns. Balustrades provide a rhythmic balance to the entry while half-round pilasters with intricate plinths and blooming entablatures surround the building in perfect proportion. These features are fundamentally dictated by the tenants of Vedic Architecture and were essential to the client.
Masonry provided the ideal medium to capture the elegance and energy of this design. White clay modular brick laid in simple running bond pattern with bat window surrounds provides a subtle canvas for the art of the cast stone ornamentation. The cast stone material is a unique mix of 60% crushed white marble and white Portland cement. This custom blend was developed to achieve the desired color, shadowing effect and detail definition required by the architect's vision. These locally available materials were also key to keeping the project within budget and on schedule. In addition to beautiful and detailed ornamentation, the cast stone pilasters were innovatively used to conceal expansion joints and downspouts.
According to His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Peace Palace of The Woodlands is considered to be "the most perfect example of Maharishi Vedic Architecture to date."