Landscapes of Isolation: Kohn Pedersen Fox Traveling Fellowship 2012
LANDSCAPE(S) OF ISOLATION | Summer 2012
This research travel proposal considers (5) isolated monastic sites in (5) countries that exemplify both a landscape of isolation and the consideration of architecture in the most extreme and harsh of conditions.
Early monasticism practiced the belief that union with God could be best attained by withdrawal from civilization into harsh and isolated regions.1 Monasteries throughout the world embody landscape(s) of isolation. From this landscape, centuries of ascetic monks built improbable architecture – folds in the landscape – to create livable space for monastic human existence. A desire for isolation from humanity also required an increased connectivity to the surrounding landscape. However, these monasteries present themselves not as architecture or landscape, but rather as built environments. This research travel proposal aims to understand these particular vernacular monastic examples, not as object-buildings (as architecture might traditionally view them), but rather as a larger set of material and energy conditions framed by their isolation.
1 Walter Horn, Jenny White Marshall and Grellan D. Rourke, The Forgotten Hermitage of Skellig Michael (University of California Press: 1990),1