Art Prison :: Favignana, Italy
Following the examples of the big art parks of the international scenario (Kröller-Müller Museum, Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Arte Sella), the competition will aim at giving the Fortress back to the community. It aims to transform it into one of the most important contemporary art platforms of the world. Thanks to its location and natural structure, this place will be able to create sublime experiences to enjoy and create art. Here, the emotion of art combines with the suggestion of a wild nature and an ancient architecture. It will be a place of encounter, exhibitions, shows and performances. In this sense, the contemporary architecture will become an elegant set. In this place, artists will have the opportunity to stay in order to shape their visions and utopias expressing innovativeness and beauty. This place will have to be accessible to collectors and enthusiasts. They will have the chance to live an unforgettable stay in the facility, according to one’s own sensitiveness in order to enjoy cultural, food and wine and wellness routes. Regardless the approach designers will apply to this project, YAC suggests accurately reflecting on the relation between natural landscape and artificial landscape, between ancient architecture and contemporary architecture.
Point of Entry
The Art Prison journey begins at the Port of Favignana where one arrives to the island and is able to have the first distant glimpse of the Art Prison. Visitors will be greeted there with information about their stay, then have a chance to experience the history and charm of the town of Favignana before setting out on the short trip up to the Art Prison. The experiential intention and corporeal significance of the journey up the mountain is to engage both mind and body, thought and action, reality and dreams.
Points of Passage
Visitors will encounter a series of architectural follies along the pathway, each becoming more respondent to the shaping language of waves the further along one travels. Terraced site walls are used to evidence the succession or crossing of waves while also offering opportunities for organic farming spaces able to support the agricultural needs of the Art Prison and local community. Other upper level Points use their larger surface areas and availability to the elements to function as rainwater collection/ harvesting elements directing precious natural water to a lower level Point double functioning as a large water cistern (supplying water to the Art Prison while also supplementally supporting the town below) and as an outdoor amphitheater for performance art. A family of cabana structures situated on a natural dip in the topography just below the Art Prison provides Art Scape Hotel guests with the opportunity to stay in well-equipped small scale suites tectonically integrated into the topography. With ample privacy, abundance of views, and ability to be surrounded by the landscape, guests will enjoy their stays fully off-grid and in acute balance with nature. Passive design strategies such as Trombe walls, photo-voltaic arrays, and planted roofs help tie these structures back into visual continuity with the land while making them as energy and resource efficient as possible.
Points of View
The crossing implied between the creation of Art and its public register aims to engage visitors and artists with each other and with the landscape by interweaving the artist atelier spaces with the spaces of the Art Luxury Hotel contained within the main structure of the Art Prison; Art studios are joined together into larger contiguous ‘living’ work spaces. These crossings are thresholds that express the importance of coming together and sharing ideas, before departing on our separate trajectories through life; imparting moments of clarity or common ground through the linked desire to conceive Art and convey its meaning to the world. The Art Prison building, with its strong form and characteristic geometries has stood as an unmistakable visual beacon and marker on the land. Waves of history have done little to destroy or alter its integrity. The same invisible forces which shaped the series of other Points on the land leading to the Art Prison also manifest themselves within the massive walls of the structure. Acting inversely however, these waves and crossings are contained within the strength of the thick walls becoming expressed as a new crystalline roof skylight. This newly glazed layer is only ever visible from above, but likewise connects the art atelier and Art Luxury Hotel spaces with a new transparency, openness, and connectivity with the sky in contrast to the outward visual weight of the structure. The Art Prison will now glow from within like a lantern while maintaining its historical, visually unaltered significance. A short distance above the Art Prison on the adjacent hilltop, a small helipad will provide an alternate access route.to the Art.Prison.
Our register of each moment draws the experience of the island, the mountain, and the historical structure of,the Art Prison together. An understanding of the ensemble of Points through the sum of their distinctive yet related parts offers a unique collapse of perceived distance tying the experience of the island, its local community, and the activities of the Art Prison together in a codependent relationship. Each component of the journey playing an important and incremental role in an unfolding story of thought-provoking and compelling experiences about the making of Art.
RESULT + FINDINGS
The Mediterranean sea and its mystical islands provokes thoughts on historical and geological firmitas, finding balance with nature and the landscape, and also the presence felt of unseen forces which help shape our understanding of these things. This proposal initiates a journey from the sea, across the land, and culminating at a historical landmark punctuated by the passage of a series of moments (‘Points· of experience distributed across the landscape). These ‘Points’ provide moments of pause/clarity at which one is able to appreciate the incredible views over the land and sea.
like the waves radiating outwards from drops on the surface of water, waves of resonant energy from multiple Points assembled on the topography create a language of Intersections, crossings, and tangencies symbolizing moments of engagement, communication, and sharing of information. These crossings manifest themselves as traces of architecture, occupiable structures, or as a perceived larger organization of points measuring the land and providing a conceptual framework for locating future developments or art commissions/acquisitions/installations. Each of the Points, although individual, share a common conceptual DNA giving and receiving energy in different ways. Each Point will utilize simple load bearing construction techniques rendered in the locally quarried stone, simplifying material sourcing while maintaining a compatible local tonality and expressing a strong groundedness with the hillside.