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ARP_Art Prison

Architecture Competition

w/ Fortunati-Gomiero


Be alone. The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body. Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement.
The fortress of Santa Caterina stands over the peak of Favignana looking to the Mediterranean Sea. From any point of view, it’s a temple of solitude. Santa Caterina is a symbol for who decides to leave the civilization to enjoy its own soul.


A place where time does not interfere.

Time is a limit. Time does not exist.

The long walk that takes to the fortress will be surrounded by artworks and linear architectural elements that will contain hotel cabins and services. After this exhibition path, the visitor reaches the fortress. Inside it will be held the permanent art exposition and on the rooftop the luxury hotel with amazing views of the sea and the new architecture intervention.

On the basement, the visitor will enter in the cultural centre, a fragmented space with dynamic places for conferences, workshops, laboratories, performances and meetings.

Following these incidental space, a high-quality restaurant appears. There, star chefs will reinterpret local tradition in a glass shell architecture that looks to the stronghold and the sea. When the tour come to the end, a small gate will invite the guest to discover a new detached world: the atelier hills.

A 110 mt long footbridge connects the stronghold to the remote hill in which artists are living and making arts.


The bridge is made by prefab blocks in UHPFRC (Ultra-High Performance Fibre-Reinforced concrete). This allows to have an easy construction site, where all the footbridge pieces can be easily assembled. The atelier contains small apartments, workplaces and meditation rooms. These spaces are poor and trapped in the stones, here the artist will find the emptiness for then fill itself again. All the buildings are made with Favignana’s tuff. The structure that is used in the entire project is made by tuff blocks, laid with staggered joints and concrete cores in the middle. With this technique, the project is following the way of doing of ancient Sicilian builders and respecting Santa Caterina’s fortress.

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