An old fortress in Favignana, Sicily, offered a rough challenge to the Young Architects Competitions’ designers.
The root of the concept came from the question of what would Santa Catarina fortress look like if it had been build in the XXI century ?
A center for Culture and Art ought to be open to its environment and the world beyond. A medieval fortress renovated into this aim needs to shift from a defensive to a inviting strategy.
Inspired by the medieval essence of the site, single square volumes, angled to shelter the art works and equipments, compose an extension of the fortress all over the mountain. In contrast with the boldness of the stone construction, those translucent white volumes, create a pure and timeless identity for the site. The reshaped icon of Favignana offers different reading following the seasons and daily rhythm : the white volumes reacting to the sun intensity during the day change to light lines during the night. The whole mountain appear then as a XXI century fortress, a landmark of light.
The experience of the visitor differs also depending on his point of view. From far the clarity of the new landmark invites the guest to climb from one stage to another, with regular rewarding experiences for his efforts. Once on top of the site, he is back to the original loneliness of the prison time : the extensions have disappeared in the landscape, imbedded in the slopes and covered with the same vegetation as their surrounding.
As a network of veins carrying blood, a breadcrumb of metal, light and informations guides the guest through all the complex, linking spatially all the installations.