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Concept & Inspiration 

As many of us have experienced, CMU can be an incredibly stressful environment. However, amid the packed studios, labs, and study spaces are hidden nooks and crannies that students have adopted as "safe havens" on campus. When in need of a mental (and emotional) escape, students are often found in the architectural niches of CMU's College of Fine Arts Building. 

Each niche provides a degree of privacy and peaceful refuge in a public space—all while allowing students access to fresh air. While inside one of these niches, students have the choice to enjoy the interiors of the dome, observe the rest of the campus passing by, or to gently shut their eyes. 

Structurally identical yet unique in decor, we selected the Islamic architecture niche, not necessarily for religious intent, but because the star motif on the ceiling represents a universally recognized, appreciated, and comforting feeling—looking up at stars and the sky—regardless of faith or belief. 

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