Pharos Gallery, Hvar
The etymology of ‘Hvar’ can be traced to the Greek word for lighthouse, φάρος [pharos]. The town’s civic, religious and artistic institutions operate as independent beacons around the town square’s perimeter that direct visitors in pursuit of particular rituals and conventions. Pharos Gallery situates itself in this string of institutions as a lighthouse that guides the art tourist’s itinerary.
The gallery’s southern edge reaches out to the square as an invitation to the collective ritual procession toward the site; it houses the complex’s library wing, lecture hall and reception foyer. But the gallery’s most intrinsic function – the display of art – is kept separate: the viewing galleries, organized around a central cortile, remain geometrically, axially and spatially autonomous from the rest of the program. This nucleus of discrete viewing galleries unashamedly defends the significance of the individual’s encounter with art as a necessarily intimate and subjective endeavor.