A morphology of personal sanctuaries for the reinforcement of the belief that no matter how dire the situation, it’s all going to be ok.
An urban peninsula situated in the Grand Union Canal Basin with an area of ca. 1100 m², located to the north of Camley Street Natural Park, and between the elevated rail tracks of St. Pancras Station to the west and the latest new development of King’s Cross to the east.
never alone, always together:
It’s great to be together, but in the city, aren’t we always together?
Are we together too much?
When an individual wishes to escape back into oneself for a moment… and be spiritual…
Where can we go?
Where in the city can we go to get alone?
Is this our alone time in the city?
Is this spirituality?
The architecture attempts to create a space for personal spirituality in the city.
An unrecognizable form is applied to awaken the curiosity of visitor and passerby alike.
It is a place that is raw and real, yet uplifting.
It is a spirituality one can see, touch and feel.
An escape not into the outer dimensions of imagined worlds.
But, rather an escape back to the essence of our own reality.
Light and dark. Open and closed. Infinite and finite.
Primitive, yet profound.
Twelve personal sanctuaries are accessible at ground level, covered by the hovering public platform above. The shaft of each personal sanctuary frames a fragment of the ever-changing sky above, and allows for daylight to filter deep down into the otherwise dark void.
The public platform is suspended above ground level in order to form a spatial break with the surroundings and is accessible only by existing public stairs. Due to its relatively small scale, the platform can be described as an intimate public place, serving as an introduction to the personal sanctuaries below.
The sanctuary shafts may be climbed.
Graffiti on the blank concrete body is welcome.
And, jumping off the platform edge is not frowned upon.
The architecture is integrated into the existing urban fabric but rebels against the tightness of the thread.
It’s not about faith in a God or a religion.
Rather, it’s about having faith in oneself.
For if the sky is indeed not falling, neither are you.
© Architectenbureau Wil-Ma bvba