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Benedictine Women of Madison - Holy Wisdom Monastery

Scope: Deconstruction & New Construction | Area: 34,300 sq ft | Completion Date: August 2009

The Benedictine Women of Madison partnered with Hoffman on the planning, design, and construction of the 34,000 square foot Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, Wisconsin.

Seeking to replace Benedictine House, their existing 60,000 square foot retreat and conference center, the Sisters set high expectations for Holy Wisdom Monastery, lead by the need to embody the Sisters’ mission of weaving prayer, hospitality, justice, and care for the earth into a shared way of life as an ecumenical Benedictine community. While portraying an elegant simplicity central to the Sisters’ monastic values, the monastery needed to provide space ideal for both quiet, personal reflection as well as community gatherings. In addition, the Sisters wanted the monastery to be designed and built sustainably, respectful of its natural environment, within a fiscally responsible budget, and they wanted to achieve a LEED® Platinum certification.

Once the project was complete, it had become the highest-rated LEED-New Construction building in the United States—achieving 63 out of a possible 69 points under LEED-NC v2.2 at a total project square foot cost of just $246. The two-story Holy Wisdom Monastery provides the Sisters and their community with spaces for worship, concerts, conferences, lectures, interfaith dialog, and both small and large group dining.