CARONTE: A Bridge-House in Fyr Island
Porto Academy 17 | "Persona" Workshop | Marcio Kogan (Studio MK27)
Site: Island of Fyr (a fictional island in Denmark).
Program: A house.
Client: The boy from the movie "Persona" by Ingmar Bergman (1966).
The weeklong workshop leaded by Marcio Kogan consisted in the creation of a house for one of the protagonists of Bergman's most daring and enigmatic film.
Our client is the child of the prologue who wakes up in a hospital next to several corpses.
The first comparison that came to my mind after watching the film was with a sculpture named "the Veiled Christ" by Giuseppe Sanmartino in Naples.
In these two scenes there is an atmosphere of death represented by the veil and by the bed that looks like an altar and also like a coffin.
However, unlike Christ, the child is alive and struggling for his life, moving himself under the sheet.
There is a strong contrast between the mortuary and cold atmosphere of the scene and the vitality and the hope of the child.
So I asked myself how to express this dualism between life and death with Architecture.
The name of my project is "Caronte", a demon that is present in Dante's Divina Commedia, who carries the souls of the dead across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divide the world of the living from the world of the dead.
For every human being the "house" is a place for life and I decided to put it in the most arid and deadly place of the island: the volcano.
So Life and Death in this project are together.
The house is continuously threatened to be destroyed, but remains a "stage for life".
The human condition is a fragile condition that is always in balance and this dangerous situation will be represented by the central hole that is the heart of the project that allows us to see the center of the volcano.
All the house develops around it and this element becomes a unique opportunity for introspection.
The grown child will be a spectator of his own fragility of being human.
The house is a suspended bridge over the volcano and it brings us in a place of death, just like Caronte.
However this home is also a message of hope and a declaration of life just like the child who struggles for life in a dead environment.
Infact in this dangeous bridge-house it will be possible to see the sky trough the big central skylight.
This contrast between Hell and Paradise will allow the child to grow up, to remember his condition and to live in a world often terrible and full of drama, but also full of beauty.
I decided to use Dante's Divina Commedia painted by Gustave Dorè as a metaphor in order to describe this project.