Castle In The Sky

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  • Castle In The Sky
  • Roccamandolfi, Italy
  • March 2017
  • YAC Castle Resort Competition – Entrant
  • Catherine He, Amy Sun, and Pam Troyer

Through intermingling of ecologies and the experiences of reflection and buoyancy, we invite you to explore the castle from another point of view.

At the highest elevation of a trying and diverse journey, refreshment is revealed in the form of an open air wading pool. The site is a synthesis of what nature has to offer. Open to the elements, naturally sheltered where necessary, and with few amenities; yet, habitable at every moment.

Water is held up close to the sky, in an ethereal and timeless volume, within impenetrable geometric enclosures. Walls of stone, glass, and steel form basins, offset from the remains of the fortress. There are various levels and spaces on which to settle, multiple pools both teeming and placid, both open and enclosed. The various terrestrial and aquatic terrains provides unique opportunities of interaction with the site; allowing inhabitants to gaze outwards, on one another and the landscape beyond, or to reflect inwards.

Organic filtration systems maintain the natural purism of the surroundings as plant life continuously refreshes the water as it flows down the natural terrain of the castle floors. Water culminates in a cistern in the eastern turret and rain water is naturally absorbed into the open system.

As part of the transient, experiential journey the castle ruins evoke, one arrives atop the hill by means of multiple gateways – some rugged, others offering a spiralling landscape vista while transitioning along the mountainous topography.

Sleeping spaces sit nestled and sparsely populated amongst the trees. Simple platforms (on which one may pitch a tent) protrude from the steep hillside, protected by existing canopies. Yet open access to the sky is maintained at all times, whether for swimming or sleeping.

Journey seekers are invited to float back in time; to explore the ruins in a manner that creates literal and metaphorical reflections of the site; and to physically and sensationally emmerse themselves in the historical and natural context of Roccamandolfi’s castle in the sky.