The Young Architects Competitions (YAC) and the Municipality of Favignana, Italy—in cooperation with the Italian Government—have launched the Art Prison, an architectural competition to refurbish a breathtaking fortress on a scattered island in southern Sicily.
A cash prize of €20,000 will be awarded to the winners selected by an internationally-renowned featuring Manuel Aires Mateus (Aires Mateus), Felix Perasso (Snøhetta), João Luís Carrilho da Graça (Carrilho da Graça Arquitectos), and Daniel Libeskind (Studio Libeskind).
Solitude has always been highly fascinating for human beings. Hermitages, fortresses, shelters. Since the dawn of time, human beings have been looking for a solitary condition, avoiding their counterparts as if they wanted to rediscover a feeling of purity, reconciliation with their self and union with nature.
The fortress of Santa Caterina stands over the peak of Favignana, an isle set at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. It appears as a real jewel of solitude. It is a place imbued with an imposing and moving beauty. In such place, the embrace of nature is so intimate that creates the sweet and yearned for oblivion that fills the heart of those who had the bravery to leave civilization to listen to silence.
For more than a century, the fortress has been an abandoned prison. From the peak of the promontory, it solitary witnesses the continuous rise and setting of the sun in the crystal waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The latter has always been vigilant on the events of the isle. Over time, the industrious fishermen village has become a booming destination for international tourism.
In the wake of such transformations, YAC launches Art Prison. This is a competition in collaboration with the Municipality of Favignana aiming at making the most of a remarkable context in order to transform Santa Caterina Fortress into one of the most suggestive centers of contemporary art of the Mediterranean. It will have to be a sublime place of encounter, culture and creative research where artists will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy in an untouched place. The latter will be the perfect context to inspire artists’ imagination and make them express the real essence of their inner self.
How to transform an ancient prison into a treasure chest containing works of art and the creative action of internationally renowned artists and intellectuals? How to transform an ancient fishermen isle into an open-air contemporary art museum?
This is the fascinating challenge of Art Prison. This competition invites designers to get involved with the lure of solitude. By doing so, they will create a mystic architecture able to whisper to the heart of visitors. The isle will become a “sacred” place, a shelter for artists, creative talents and curious people who wish to stay to mentally and spiritually regain their forces. They will have the chance to enjoy the most amazing artistic innovations, brushed by the monumental and eternal fascination of an ancient fortress and a Mediterranean isle.
Registration Deadline: April 8, 2018
Images courtesy of Young Architects Competition.