The Glenwood Springs Human Potential Institute

Material Information

The Glenwood Springs Human Potential Institute a thesis project
Beinfield, Bruce
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
30 unnumbered leaves : color illustrations, color plans ; 22 x 36 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Health resorts -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Glenwood Springs ( lcsh )
Health facilities -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Glenwood Springs ( lcsh )
Health facilities ( fast )
Health resorts ( fast )
Colorado -- Glenwood Springs ( fast )
Designs and plans. ( fast )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Designs and plans ( fast )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Bruce Beinfield.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
10057986 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A72 1978 .B45 ( lcc )

Full Text
arch student paper
ARCHIVES ID 1 1 90 A72 1978 B45

The Site
The site is a 16.5 acre triangular tract of land located one half mile west of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It is bordered on the east by Interstate 70 and on the west by the Colorado river. The most outstanding feature of the site is the presence of three geothermal hot springs with a combined flow rate of 285 gpm., and a average temperature of .118P. This energy source will be used to meet the' buildings heating requirements. The best long views are to the northwest and southwest, paralleling the Colorado river valley.
The winds are generally from the northeast direction,
with micro winds and noise generating from the close proximity of the interstate. Vegetation on the site consists of a number of mature cottonwoods along with an old apple orchard. The vegatation grows more
intense towards the northern apex -of the-tri-anglewith the southern half of the site essentially barren.
The floodplain rises to a point 16 feet above the river level. There is an existing Victorian house on the site which is worth restoring, with a number of outbuildings which are in a state of disrepair.
The only acess to the site is from the south, from a road which bridges both the Colorado river and the intersl 3d Springs.

The site also posseses a rich, historic past.
To the Ute Irdians bathing in the Glenwood Hotsprings was a religious rite. The entire tribe would migrate to the hot springs every year to let the waters cure their illnesses and make them better hunters and mightier warriors. Up until the 1880's the springs were the site of the Indians most sacred ritual of renewal, the sundance.

Taking it's cue from the previous inhabitants, this facility is directed towards meeting the physical, cultural, and spiritual needs of its clientele.
As a human potential Institute, emphasis is placed on the importance of harmony between mind, body, and spirit.
Only through the integration of these parts can one begin to realize ones full potential.
Michael Murphy, father of the human potential movement, and the Esalan Institute in California feels we are on the verge of tremendous social changes. Changes as great as those that accompanied the evolution from feudal to modern society during the industrial revolution. The difference this time being that evolution has aceelerated to such a degree that we can be aware of the changes as they are taking place, and can to some extent prepare ourselves for the post-industrialized world that is in the process of being born. What is needed, the transformationists say, is new paradigms-new models for looking at the nature of man and the universe,'
and new ways of perceiving the realities of our lives.
Sam Keene in "Psychology Today" writes "No matter how you look at it that tight model T Newtonian universe which was a closed system of cause and effect has collapsed and we are beginning a new magical mystery tour filled with Quarks and charm and ESP."

As the architect for this institute the major question became what role can architecture play in this search for new paradigms? How can the architecture aid it's occupants in their quest for new ways of perceiving reality?
Einsteins theoty of relativity demonstrates that our perceptions are a function of our reference frame. An event that is irrational in one reference frame will become comprehensible when viewed in it's proper frame of reference. Thus if the building is to aid in altering peoples perceptions of reality it must tamper with peoples reference frames. This building tampers with peoples reference frames through a variety of means. It plays with the concept of time alluding to both the distant future and the distant past, in a sense creating a timeless ambiguity. It is a machine crafted object which may have crashed on the site a long time ago. In support of this conceptual imagery the structure is partially buried in the site and appears to be eroded and engulfed by the natural environment, the ruins of a futuristic object. A variety of mysterious and exciting interior spaces are created by fragmenting the form in a way that alludes to a structure in partial ruin. *
The institute strives to assault the claustrophobic world of positivism and return a sense of mystery and wonder. It will be a passage to new territory to be explored.
A place that taps into our fantasy stream and summons

the explorer in all of us. It is a place that helps free us from a one dimentional view of reality and lets us know that if we find our lives unsatisfying we are free to redefine.
In the historical site research a remarkable similarity was found between the philosophy of the plains Indians and the members of the human potential movement. The Indians were a highly symbolic people and their symbol for the universe, the Medicine Wheel carries a meaning which is extrodinarily appropriate to the institutes program. The building is therefore planned around the concept of the Indian Medicine Wheel, thus keeping alive the philosophy of the sites indiginous culture, while making a strong symbolic statement.
In many ways the Medicine wheel can best be understood if you think of it as a mirror in which everything ils reflected."The universe is the mirror of the people and each person is a mirror to every other person. All things are contained here, and all are equal. All things within this universe wheel know of their harmony with one another, except man."
There are 4 great powers on the medicine wheel.
To the North is found wisdom. The South is the place of innocence and trust, and for perceiving closely our nature of heart. To the west is found the introspective nature of man, and to the East is the place of illumination. At birth, each of us is given a particular beginning place

within these ^ great directions on the medicine wheel.
This starting place gives us our first way of perceiving things, which will then be our easiest and most natural way throughout our lives. But any person who perceives from only one of these U great directions will remain only a partial man. For example, a man who posseses only the gift of the north will be wise, but he will be a cold man, a man without feeling. After each of us has learned our beginning gift, our first place on the medicine wheel, we then must grow by seeking understanding in each of the four great ways. Only by forsaking the familiar for the unknown, and expanding our reference frames, can we become full people, capable of balance and decision in what we do. It is only through exploring the great ways within ourselves, to which the institute is dedicated, that we can come into harmony with the rest of the universe.
The Indians believed that there was only one thing that all people posess equally, this is their lonliness. this is the cause of our growing, but it is also the cause of our wars. Love, hate greed and generosity are all rooted in our loneliness, within our desire to be needed and loved. It is therefore loneliness that is at
the center of the Medicine Wheel.

The program for the Human Development Institute is organized around the concept of the Medicine Wheel.
The various parts of the building which^relate to different aspects of the total self are organized by their position on the Medicine wheel. The program encourages a process of exploration and integration, expanding outward from a central core and then integrating that knowledge.
The entry is into the center of the building. The center of the building is the place of decision making.
It is a place from which all other options are visible, offering many choices as to what area of the self should be explored.
The building harnesses and celebrates the natural energies that are incident upon the site, these energies are part of the medicine wheel, they also come into confluence at the center.
The areas of personal growth are organized around the outer rim of the medicine wheel with community oriented activities taking place closer to the core, this reinforces the process of of exploration from familiar to unknown.
The areas on the medicine wheel are as follows.
A. North
The mind, rational & irrational
Social therapy
3. South
The physical body
Nourishment center

C. West
Dreams, unconscious activity
Community Bathing
D. East
The spirit, the source of the spring
The dace of fire
These "4 great ways" are divided by two major axis through the site. These axis provide the main circulation paths through the building, for both pedestrians and mechanical systems. The axis terminate in special places on the rim of the medicine wheel. To the northeast is the place of the wind, and to the southwest the place of the planets, stars, and galaxies. To the northwest is the place of the river, and to the southeast the entry, gateway to the future and from the past.
The hotsprings flow naturally into the center of the building from where it's pumped by water and wind power to various parts of the structure for heating and theraputic purposes.
A complete activity and space breakdown by catagory follows. The total building square footage is kj,600


Square footage
A. The mind center
500 volume library, conducive to study reading and thought
Biofeedback lab
Media studio
B. The spirit
A place for meditation, an exterior space that must be located on a very special spot on the site
C. The physical body
Equiptment & first aid, adjacent to lobby with visual control over acess
Lobby, a pre-function space with some spectator capabilities
Spectators, informal viewing of raquetball, tennis, swimming, & volleyball
Men's lockers, for 100 men, should be open and airy, avoiding the smelly locker room syndrome, Gang showers, 5 lavatories 2 toilets, 3 urinals, handicap acess.
Women's lockers same type of space as men's b private shower stalls,-gang shower 5 lavatories, 5 toilets.
Sundeck, good southern exposure
Tennis 2 indoor courts @60x120 2 outdoor courts
Raquet ball 3 courts @ 20x^0
Exercise, patterning, yoga, dance etc. Mirrors,bar,hard surface, music
Volleyball,gymnastics a 20xL0 court with movable gymnastic equiptment. storage must be adjacent
Isometrics Isotonics rubberized floor surface

Rolfing, accupunture, massage 2000
movable tables and partitions
Swimming, exterior 75*35 ft pool
Mineral pools 2 group pools with 900
different contents, 2 isolated soaking rooms 26U sq.ft,l small group soaking room 180 sq. ft. Extensive exterior
mineral pool network
Whirlpool, 2 round pools 600
Vapor cave, steam room 1200
Sauna 200
Isolation Tanks 3sq.ft. 200
Rebirth chambers 2@6U sq.ft. 130
Storage, activity related 600
D. Dreams, Sleeping
Accomodations for 108 people 1^200
5^ rooms W 300 sq ft. each
oriented to river and views, thought of as caves by the sea. Each room divided into dressing bathing and sleeping areas, private exterior balconies desired.
Sleep lab 500
E. Social therapy
Seminar,.conference, encounter rooms 2700 space should be divisable by movable partitions must accomodate a variety of uses. Natural lighting through skylights, but no windows. Floors should be made for sitting or lying on.
Lounge adjacent to seminar rooms and 1000 exterior. Oriented to views, and used for informal gatherings
Auditorium, seating for 300 people 3^00
small theatrical stage, Extensive audio visual capabilities.
projection room adjacent to auditorium 60

F. Nourishment center
Buffet dining for 120 people, oriented to best views,openable to exterior
Kitchen, should be acessable by guests
Greenhouse, vegatables & plant therapy. Supplies an annual hydroponic production for 100 people 1500 sq. ft.
Of plant beds
G. Community bathing
A central bathing and community space (exterior) The central bath should also contain the heat exchange equiptment.
Should be located in an open court with good views.
H. Place of fire
Interior fireplace,for informal gathering 500 story telling conversation
Exterior fire pit, ceremonial in character 1000 sq. ft.
I. Place of the wind
Windmill located close to the interstate that transforms the interstate traffic into positive energy. Power is mechanically transfered to pump water.
J. Place of the planets and stars
Observatory with a domed 30" telescope used for classes in astrophysics,cosmology, astrology.
K. Place of the river
An undershot waterwheel in the Colorado river that mechanically pumps water on the site
L. Place of the hotsprings
A celebration of the source of the hotsprings

M. The core
Place of decisions, oriented to all other activities. Celebrates all the incident natural energies, and'contains the wind & water powered pumps. The hotsprings also naturally flow into this area and are then pumped through the building.
N. The future & Past _
The entry is the gateway from the past and to the future. It must offer a transition from the external world to the
worlds that lie within.
O. Reception and Administration
Lobby, a place of arrival 1000
Reception, adjacent to lobby, welcoming 700
and orientation.
Supplies, a small store offering items 500
for mind or body. Adjacent to lobby
Programming, Adjacent to lobby 250
Administration, Adjacent to lobby ,700
Rest Rooms, Two sets 650sq, ft. each 1300
one adjacent to lobby, one adjacent to dining area.
P. Services
Mechanical, should be celebrated if 1200
possible, close to service entrance
Janitorial, close to service entrance 225
Receiving,.storage, waste dispossal 1250
truck acess
Laundry, should be acessible by residents 500 Miscalaneous storage ^00
Heat exchangers, should be celebrated 900
Heating will be from geothermal sources


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