Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Research Retreat. Brief

The main building of this place is Hospitalfield House built in 1849. In nowadays it is a residential art centre – place for creating  in a medium with 'quiet ambience, tranquil country gardens and particularly generous studio space' (http://www.hospitalfield.org.uk/).

The building is built in the Gothic style from red sandstone which is typical local material of most of Arbroath buildings.

The site is a park bordered by old trees and further by stone wall variables in a height.

There are several art pieces located in the park and out of it. One of them on the way to the park was very impressive to address and inspire me.

Private accommodations (25m2 each) and studios (40m2 each) for 6 artists, gallery/event space (100m2), ancillary (kitchen 25m2), storage and WC). Besides them some external areas for relaxation, contemplation and exhibition are required.

Research Retreat. Process

“A picture without a frame is like a soul without a body”
“I can only finish my pictures when they are framed" (Vincent Van Gough).

I have thought why paintings should be framed and why frames used to be so rich, even richer than the same picture. What is the important message transmitted by frame?
Throughout the history frame has been used as 'a decorative boundary, it protected and emphasised the work it held, and might have a strongly symbolic aspect' (Paul Mitchell).
I brought frame as main concept for my design of Research Retreat.
I perceived the meaning of frame in the wider context.
*Frame is significant feature of the site. The site is framed by different layers of surrounding environment such as crop fields, stone wall and finally lines of trees.
*Frame is strong and recognisable stereotype of art, especially painting.
*Frame is integral part of functioning society in terms of ethic and law codes.

Intangible of the site caught in the tangible painting and framed with Mannerist Frame.

The frame in my design is a coherent scheme within which to live and work in a creative atmosphere. The frame pulls together this small commune, bounds from the unnecessary information and focuses on main things.

The very first sketches shows development of this idea.

The main idea of my proposal is about linking together accommodation with studio because of the specific of residence in Hospitalfields. The period of residence varies from couple days till several months. This factor and specific character of artist living style demands flexible and compact solution which provides close links between daily habits without interrupting creating process. Contemplation and study is inseparably linked with active creation.
Next idea is about specialising and communication between artists for inspiring process of creation. This factor demands common area.

All these factors together make multi-layered space where private passes into the public. 

The first plan of the building shows public and semi public areas (gallery/event space and studios) located around the courtyard and private areas located by perimeter with view to the park. The main feature - variety of entrances to the each cluster. Private entrance from courtyard and public link between all studios and gallery. This creates one continuous art gallery in the case of "Doors open day", when visitors could walk through the whole building without disturbing artists in their private accommodations. 

But there is one problem with clusters located in the corners. They do not have direct access to the courtyard. I improved design by lengthening the courtyard to get access for each cluster. 
Besides, I changed location of the main entrance. Now it is directed towards the park.  

Artist represents that part of society who breaks frames and boundaries in the searching of new horizons. This concept is embodied in the solutions of openings for the traffic of people and light. 

Sketches of exterior and interior.

 Main entrance


Gallery/event space with diffused light through skylight along the perimeter.

Artist's accommodation with direct exit to the park and light flushing the wall through skylight.