Philosopher's Retreat

second philosopher

posl erender with map

Kilmartin, Scotland  |   Year Two  |  4 weeks


In this project I was asked to create a space for twelve philosophers. I investigated what it means “to gather”, understood as a basic human need while engaging with the challenge to offer equality of views and light.

Considering that my project was located next to an old grave yard I decided to respond and connect to that given feature of the site through the use of a symbolic geometric shape. The square - a symbol of the mortality of man, rotated according to the sun path, provides each person with a tranquil South panorama. The philosophers live separately in small modest studios where the most exquisite decoration is their fine view of the Scottish landscape. The heart of the building which splits the twelve studios in half, is a small library made from glass panels. The shape of this well lit space is extruded in length and width out of the rest of the concrete structure and serves as a gathering point that gives an 180 degrees view.

Enclosed between the philosopher’s shelter and the steep North slope leading to the town, the inhabitants are provided with a small garden - a place for contemplation and relaxation. In the middle of this garden is positioned a greenhouse which visually connects to the library’s shape and material. The greenhouse not only replaces the exterior garden during winter time and frequent rainy days but also acts as an entry to an underground debating chamber. This undisturbed by noise, people and everyday reality problems place for debate and creation of new philosophy theories is only hinted in the external space through the extruded cubic shapes of the skylights positioned in the middle of the garden. They serve a function of minimalist sculptures and determine the focal point of the garden.


Left top: Plan (fit to scale) showing the rooms of the philosophers and the back yard garden

Right Top: Perspective looking towards South.

Right Bottom: Axonometry showing the different layers of the building.


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