Retreat Center, Chicago 2010
Somewhere Else is a Retreat Center in downtown Chicago. The private indoor program, a leisure center and an underground spa hide the main space of the project, the entirely public “proto garden”. The design of this space serves two purposes: 1-To be a place for contemplation and disconnection from daily life through the creation of an hybrid ecosystem that mixes natural and artificial elements. Subtle differences separate what is really natural from what it is not. Through the observation of the environment, of the “strange” and the “misleading” about this “proto nature”, the visitant obtains a moment of silence, a real moment of contemplation. 2-All the technological artificial devices of the garden recreate FOR FREE programs from the private spaces, working as an “echo” of them: synthetic grass that heats like the underground sauna, trees that reproduce the sounds of the auditorium…
This project was developed in 2010 as a school project in the Illinois Institute of Technology in Karla Sierralta´s studio.
In 2012 I was invited by the Sint-Lucas Arquitectuur School (Belgium) to give a lecture on this project at the Fragiles International Student Conference.
Later on that year it got published on “ETSAB & ETSAM Students at IIT College” a publication for best projects from 2008-2011 at IIT School of Architecture
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