Cloud Hall Renovation

Cloud Hall Renovation

Cloud Hall and the Zendo are historic ranch buildings (the original barn and stables/tack rooms from the 20’s or 30’s) that were converted in the early 70’s by resident Zen students.  There have been steady improvements over the years, but before the 2014 renovation, the Cloud Hall portion of the building still lacked many things that would have significantly enhanced student quality of life, safety, and energy efficiency.  The 2014 renovation project addressed many of these needs, by:

  • upgrading Cloud Hall proper: our main student dormitory and ceremonial space, housing many new students as well as Dokusan rooms, the Kaisando (founder’s altar), as well as serving as a main entrance to the meditation hall
  • renovating and upgrading the basement, which houses many staff offices as well as student life functions
  • demolishing and rebuilding two auxiliary (and physically connected) buildings: the “bunk house” and old main office
  • Adding accessible parking spaces as well as improving and increasing accessible paths of travel around Green Gulch
  • Improving the back “fire-road” for pedestrian travel from the visitors’ parking lot, thus separating pedestrian and vehicle entry and improving safety
  • Re-landscaping the “pool deck” to accommodate the new pedestrian entryway and enhance the experience of the space
  • Moving the office functions to the new “Welcome Center,” on the top floor of the historic ranch building that houses the kitchen and dining room – a more central spot from which to welcome and direct visitors around Green Gulch

The 2014 Renovation significantly upgraded the building, by:

  • installing individually controlled (hot-water) radiators in each Cloud Hall room, the basement offices and meeting spaces, and the new student rooms and program space (the last two will have under floor heating)
  • adding sound insulation between rooms
  • adding insulation to the exterior of the building
  • insulating the roof and replacing the roof membrane
  • replacing old carpet with cork floors in all rooms (good for quieting footsteps)
  • installing all new electrical wiring
  • installing new wall-mounted light-fixtures in the rooms (which are very helpful given the low ceiling heights)
  • installing additional egress windows that conform to modern fire safety codes
  • replacing ply wood exterior on the northeast side of the building with vertical cedar siding
  • replacing exterior wooden stairs on north side of the building
  • installing a solar-heated hot water system on the roof of the building

Additionally, the basement was upgraded by:

  • adding two new practice discussion rooms in the corner basement
  • re-configuring staff offices for safety and functionality
  • creating a new, larger student lounge area
  • relocating the library to the basement, where there will be enough space for many more books and to use part of the room for a dedicated sewing area
  • upgrading lighting  in all areas of the basement
  • installing (hot-water) radiators in the offices and meeting spaces
  • treating exterior (retaining) walls to reduce moisture penetration

Still Water Hall is the new two-story building which replaced the bunk house and old office.  It now houses a lecture and retreat space on the bottom floor and student housing on the top floor.  This was accomplished by:

  • building five single and one double student rooms to replace higher occupancy housing in less favorable locations
  • building two bathrooms (one with a shower) for student use, accessible from the second floor of Cloud Hall
  • creating an interior connection from the new student floor to the second floor of Cloud Hall, thus adding an emergency exit to the south side of Cloud Hall
  • installing radiant floor heat in the student rooms (individually controlled) and program space
  • including ample storage for chairs, tables, and yoga props to be used in the new program space
  • including a service area for beverages and snacks, including storage cabinets, a mini-fridge, sinks, and a dish washer.

july 308


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