Solitude isn’t always pleasant.

Being lonely doesn’t always mean being alone.

Prompt: Turn a 500 year old island prison into an artist retreat & gallery by drawing inspiration from the solitude of the place.

For this project we took a slightly more theoretical approach. The architectural intervention was fairly simple: large cutouts of the exterior and interior walls to the cells. We used metal frame elements to both hold up the structure and to turn each cell into a shadow box; show casing the artist living inside. Then, we illustrated the psychological descent as each artist starts to feel their isolation and inability to share their work.

The idea of the project was to showcase how perception of space can change based on the occupant and the state of mind. “The space is more than its shape.” In the images above you can see how the space starts out as a clean and refreshing place to find solitude and peace. However, as time goes on and the artist produces and becomes ever more consumed in their work, the lack of an “other” becomes more apparent. By the simple passing of time the Artist’s Retreat changes back into the lonely and mind wrecking prison that this place once was.

The gallery would perpetually serve as a way to display an artist, not just their work. To do this the fortress was split in half, one half was proposed to be the shadow box cells, the other half the gala and social spaces for the guests.

Full Project Text and Submission Board:



Team members: Andrew Vargo, Quinn Pullen