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.
The Agricultural Co-operative School
The severest threat to the American countryside is the disappearance of rural know-how from the village community. Agricultural education is concentrated in increasingly large university agglomerations divorced from the everyday life of the village. Since agricultural skills are no longer transferred from one generation to the next by inheritance, local knowledge must find another way to subsist. This project, an agricultural co-operative school, anchors knowledge back in the village.
The school sits at the edge between the residential grid of Clarinda, IA, and the vast fields beyond. It liaises with state-funded initiatives such as the Iowa Youth Institute Food Program that offer subsidies for agricultural learning centers to partner with existing public schools. This agricultural school offers students at Clarinda High School the opportunity to learn the basics of small-scale farming for credit. Like a furrow in the fields, the school marks a line between large-scale industry and small-town community, and sows the seeds for local, collective agricultural production in the village.
Advanced Design Studio: Aureli
Court subverts the lot division logic and reclaims the center of the city block as shared space, the courtyard. The scheme comprises groups of open-air courtyards, around which the housing units are organized. The court is a space that can be claimed by no one and thus belongs to everyone – the land becomes a gift yet again. For monks, the cloistered courtyard provided separation from the distractions of laymen and the life of the city outside. In similar fashion, the shared outdoor space of the Court expresses and defines the rituals of the residents living around it, endowing the complex with a sense of organization as a city within a city.
In Nordic kollektivhus models of communal living, a housing block was seen as a built manifestation of a particular life-form that the building’s residents shared – the ground floor was dedicated to activities defined by residents themselves, and living units were set on higher floors. In this manner, the ground floor spaces that enclose the Court reflect different residential groups’ forms-of-life: young families in one court transform them into a day care center and playground; artists in another convert them into studio and gallery spaces; tech workers and students in a third mold them into co-working hubs. Domesticism becomes an opportunity to construct a form-of-life where the boundaries between everyday life and shared rituals are eradicated.
In San Francisco, zoning laws dictate that ground floor functions in the Mission District and 16th Street area must house commercial activity. Thus the shared ground floor not only becomes the common ritual space of the Court’s residents but also links the project to the city outside via entrepreneurialism.
By employing the courtyard typology as a device to construct a city within a city, Court rejoins the political with the domestic space, intertwining individuals’ personal lives with the rituals of the community, and fostering a sense of socio-political and economic organization among residents in reference to San Francisco’s history as a locus of neighborhood activism.