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Crestone Mountain Zen Center (Lindisfarne Celtic Monastery)

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Lindisfarne Celtic Monastery
1970s, Sim van der Ryn and Keith Critchlow. South end of Camino Baca Grande

The main stone, log, and glass structure of this retreat, designed by Sim van der Ryn, is sunk into a stony, southwest-facing hillside. The central kitchen with its greenhouse extension is the heart of the complex, which includes an earth-sheltered library under a pyramidal skylight and a two-story polygonal guest wing on the west. Farther up the hill is the meditation and ceremonial building, designed by Keith Critchlow, with two joined domes covered by rolled roofing over a framework of arched timbers. The timbers rise at oblique, intersecting angles to a central fiberglass skylight. Lack of windows makes the structure introspective, as are the smaller retreats surrounding the two main structures and a 41-foot-high stupa. Built as the Lindisfarne Celtic Monastery, it became a retreat for Zen Buddhists who fled the 1959 Chinese takeover in Tibet.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Crestone Mountain Zen Center (Lindisfarne Celtic Monastery)", [Moffat, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 442-442.

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