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"A Home Built With Nature"

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          ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH
 
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"House was built in harmony with nature"

           By Amy Bertrand, LifeStyle Editor
           August 23, 2008

 

Bob Buck began his journey with Transcendental Meditation more than 30 years ago. Along that journey, he read about Maharishi Vedic architecture, a type of building design in accord with the Natural Law. The principles of Vedic architecture were set forth thousands of years ago in a Sanskrit text. But it was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation, who interpreted them and brought them to light for modern folks.


"The idea is that you live in a house in harmony with nature," Bob says. "We know buildings can make you sick, so why not approach that from another perspective. What can buildings do to make you healthy?"


[See also "Vedic Times Returning"]



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"The Buck's Vedic Home"
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The idea of Vedic architecture "had always been percolating in the back of my mind," Bob says. But it wasn't until he and Joan began house hunting that his thoughts turned serious. "We couldn't find the right house, so we considered building one," Bob says.

Bob and Joan visited a subdivision open house in Fairfield, Iowa, which is considered the epicenter for Vedic building. They saw farmhouses, contemporary homes and traditional homes, and they all "had such a feeling to them, an energy," Joan says.

Bob went to the open house as a bit of a skeptic, but at the end of the day "there was something about those houses."

After designing their own home through an architect in Fairfield, the plans were sent to a team of architects in the Netherlands for approval. The Bucks then selected a builder and began the process.

Though they built it according to the principles, the style, with its white walls, tall ceilings and exorbitant amounts of light, is all theirs. "It's sort of a contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house," Bob says. "We don't have a lot on the walls because we figure the windows to the outdoors are our art.

"You get close to nature as a result of living here," Bob says. "Friends say they feel the energy and the positive flow when they come here, and that's really rewarding."

For more information - visit www.vedicarchitecture.org

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Principles of Vedic style:

 

THE RIGHT LAND � When the Bucks were looking to build, they had to find a piece of land that met the right requirements of Vedic principles. It had to face due east and had to slope to the east or [north] or both. It couldn't be near a prison, hospital or cemetery. The Bucks found three acres of wooded land in Wildwood and decided it was the right spot.

ALL ABOUT DIRECTION � The house, and all rooms, must be on the cardinal points of a compass. Nothing can be placed on angles; that means no corner sinks or angled walls. The staircase has to have an odd number of stairs and must go clockwise.

RIGHT PLACEMENT OF ROOMS � The rooms must be arranged in a particular way, to induce the best use of them. For instance, the kitchen must be southeast of the entrance because that site is conducive to cooking. The cooktop must also face east. "It was a bit of a challenge designing a kitchen how we wanted it that fit all the principles," Joan says. What they have is a square kitchen full of beautiful cabinets and granite countertops with a large island in the center. The west side opens to the dining room. The family room must be in the south or southwest corner. The den or office should be in the northwest portion of the house. The meditation room also must face east. In addition, you aren't supposed to have an attached garage (you don't want the toxins to enter the house), but the Bucks got around that with an attached breezeway.

BACK TO NATURE � Nature is highly valued in Vedic architecture. "You should use as many natural products as possible," Joan says. For example, they used cellulose instead of fiberglass for insulation and wood instead of metal for the beams in their home.

CENTER OF THE HOUSE � The Brahmasthan is the directional center of the home. According to Vedic principles, it must be clearly marked and cannot be walked on. To mark theirs, the Bucks put four tiles amid their Asian beechwood floors. The tile theme was also carried out in the entry for aesthetics. Light and energy must also have optimal flow along each of the four directional lines, which means a door or operable window has to be placed along each of those lines, including on the upper level, which opens to below. In addition, skylights bring in lots of light from above. 
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Copyright St. Louis Post Dispatch

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