Artist Residence

Artist's Residence Masterplan - Pollinaria, Italy

When we became entwined with the artists residence project in the Grand Sasso National Park we had no idea how profoundly it would influence our approach to architecture. The forensic research that went into the development of our 10 year masterplan for the 134 hectare site has become the kernel of our modus operandi as a practice.


The brief required the existing organic farm, olive groves and vineyards to be redeveloped to create a new cultural exchange for the region. The primary focus of the development is a series of residencies that are to house artists, sculptors, writers and other creatives.


We have made a number of research trips to Pollinaria to develop the masterplan and the project has underpinned our methodologies and maturity as a practice.


Our approach can be summarised in a number of principles:

  • Research – We undertake research to understand the cultural identity, heritage and archaeology of a location and how the landscape has evolved but also to understand it’s current state through the monitoring of it’s climate and assessing it’s ecology. Understanding the how and why of a landscape provides context and inspiration to begin thinking about how we might respond creatively in the 21st century.
  • Interdependence – In Italy we recognised the power of the landscape to define architecture and that there is an interdependence between buildings and the landscape.
  • Organisation – This interdependence creates a blurred boundary between landscape and architecture. In the Grand Sasso mountains stone walls of traditional thololi shepherding structures and the ancient hermitages that seamlessly blend into the fissures and gorges organise and manage the landscape. This organisational power was used to structure the development plan for the artists residence main farmhouse exhibition site creating an informal amphitheatre, sub-terraranan café and Farm shop.
  • Evolution – Creating a 10 year masterplan gives perspective to the legacy that is being left by the interventions we propose. Understanding the story of the site through research means we can develop a meaningful narrative for the next chapter in it’s development.


In collaboration with:

John Hesp – Craftsman, Boat Builder & Model Maker

Architecture and Landscape

Status: ongoing

Client: private


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