The niche metaphor is Guided Imagery to describe the emotional feel of a democratic space. Its poetic nature begins to unfold as a secret place where intimate contact communicates something precious that has been lost, the beauty of Giving, doing it for the other––spontaneous and free-flowing, a natural generosity that makes no distinction between giver and receiver.
The space contains a childlike secrecy, what children find in playing hide-and-seek. It's tucked away, a place to be alone in two, three, or fours that are almost impossible to discover unless one wants it to be found.
Called by many names, the alcove, apse, or niche is a sanctuary that feels luxurious and homey and everyone loves.
Built connecting to the outdoors, the niche is linked to the open sky and gardens growing wild with boundaries and edges of rough stone, brick, and wood. South-facing where the sun touches the skin, it maintains an unfinished feel. It's a space and place to love, live, work, and play, a thriving commons that supports the social and cultural ideals that family members create, re-create, and share.