Advisors: W.G. Clark and Peter Waldman
Tourists and mini-cruise ship at pick up time
Following various iterations it became obvious that the project should become three different structures all placed along the path to the residential quarters. First is the bathroom, designed as an ambiguous solid and providing shade to the tourists. From there begins the path towards the ruin. Along the forest one encounters an amphitheater dug into the ground leading to an underground, museum structure. Finally one reaches the gate and can ‘fly’ by climbing all the way to the top of the tower to see the ruin from above.
A. Restrooms (5x15m)
The restrooms were designed as a solid cave, a monolithic piece unlike any of the architecture of the island. The building is laid out around two solid walls, one from which six bathroom stalls are carved out and the other from which a deep sink is carved on one side and a bench and protruding roof are added on the other side. The bench was conceived as a shaded place of rest after the steep walk from the harbour. The only light sources inside the structure are the two access points on opposite sides as well as the clerestory openings within the stalls. Thus the structure was given a dark and refreshing feel after the uphill walk in the summer heat. In designing the structure the heavy materiality of concrete was key as well as the way in which the building greeted the visitor's hand. As such the copper sink and it's knobs were given a narrow, industrial feel, hence greeting the visitor with a delicacy separate from the heaviness of the concrete 'cave'.
B. Museum (5x25m)
The museum structure was also designed as a cave. Instead of simply touching the ground (restrooms) it digs it, concealing the artefacts underground: the place where they were found. The building was divided in four parts. First an amphitheater, wherein the tour guide may give an overview of the site and its significance as the visitors sit on the steps. The second part serves for the display of the cataloged artefacts. These are shown in cases connected to exposed concrete rebars as seen in the detail drawing below. The cases create a clear visual connection between the artefacts and their container. On the central partition wall hangs the mosaic of the labyrinth, the most significant piece discovered on site (see render on the next page). It is put in evidence through a light-well dropping the mid-day sunlight from above. The third part is an enclosed glass laboratory, providing storage and workspace for the pieces which have not been cataloged or studied. The fourth part is an exit stair changing the orientation of the walkway, framing the ocean view through the forest. Finally the roof provides a ledge to sit on for the tourist group to wait for everyone to have circulated through the exhibition space.
C. Tower (5x10m)
The tower doesn’t touch or dig the ground, it raises it. Because the ruin’s perimeter is fenced off, the site is only accessible during the hours between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. The tower allows for the site to be comprehensively seen both during official tours and during closed hours. Since visiting hours take place only during the warmest hours of the day the summer citizens of the island have been discouraged to go or have broken into the fence creating a security issue. The tower creates a new visual connection to the site enabling the residents to enjoy the ruin without breaking in. The design -like the other two structures, has a monolithic core with 2.5 flights of stairs wrapping around the perimeter and then carving into the core to create a framed view of the ocean which eventually leads to the elevated plane. The tower is a full concrete pour with the exception of the handrail where the hand is met by a smooth timber lining as shown in the detail below.