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Sufism Reoriented is an American spiritual order created by Meher Baba in 1952 to help Western seekers who aspire to live the highest principles of divine love as the central focus of their lives. Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie was commissioned to design the sanctuary in Walnut Creek, CA. The design features 13 cylindrical chambers topped by shallow domes with oculus skylights. The circle, a key theme within the project, holds special resonance for the members of the order, who see it as a symbol of eternity, unity, and infinity.

L+U assisted with glazing specifications and performed a series of daylight studies to characterize the daylight being delivered by the oculi in both the central prayer hall and ancillary spaces. This included animations and annual diagrams showing direct sun penetration and illuminance contour and false-color illuminance maps showing illumination levels.

Photograph of central prayer hall and oculus

sufisufiOculus and mural in the subterranean concourse

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Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie

Walnut Creek, CA

Occupied, 2017AWARDS:
ENR California Best Project Cultural Category Merit Award, 2017

Aerial photo of building roof domes and skylights

Radiance simulation of central prayer hall with isolux contours showing illuminance

Images BY Ali Atri Photography, courtesy of Sufism Reoriented.