This was a submission for the 2018-2019 Young Architects Competitions (YAC) Calamity Atelier Competition. The site was located in Sugana Valley, a wooded valley in the Dolomite Mountains in north-east Italy. YAC paired with Arte Sella, a contemporary art organization, to put on this competition. Arte Sella has a path with contemporary art sprinkled along it; some of these pieces were destroyed or damaged in a storm that swept through the valley in 2018. They are hoping to rebuild and are looking for ideas for artist housing. The narrative for my submission is contained in the succeeding paragraphs and the competition brief can be found here: https://www.youngarchitectscompetitions.com/
The origin of the design stems from one of the four cardinal principles stated in the Arte Sella manifesto. “The artworks are placed here and there and are made of natural materials. They come from the landscape and then return to nature.” (http://www.artesella.it)
The structure of the architecture serves first as a contemporary sculpture, then as a piece of architecture, then at the end of its life a sculpture once again. It accepts that architecture is not indestructible, but embraces ruin and decay as part of the building process. Over time, it will again be absorbed into nature.
The intention of the program is to engage the artists working on the site with visitors. This is done by placing one artist residence near multiple visitor’s residences in one site. In the center lies a contemporary sculpture by a chosen artist; in time, this too, will be consumed by nature. At the highest point of the site is an artist residence with an adjoining second story studio space. Near this is a community kitchen for all residents to use. Four more rooms are arranged back to back to maximize views to the outdoors and organized to frame the sculpture. The rooms are a simple layout with a bedroom and bathroom; this simplicity is meant to keep the residents reflecting on the outdoors.
The materials used are locally sourced and renewable materials. This design uses mostly wood. Charred wood as a building material is known for its low-maintenance, insect-resistance, and fire-resistance.
In the spirit of the Arte Sella cardinal principle, this design proposes that the Arte Sella Museum of Disappeared Works be displayed online for all too see rather than a museum space filled with images. “The artist is not the absolute protagonist of the artworks but accepts that nature completes his work.” (http://www.artesella.it)