I-Park is a special place. An artist-in-residency program set on 400+ rolling acres in the bucolic Connecticut countryside. From May thru November artists of every stripe come for a month to live, work, and commune with colleagues - and all in a much cherished, serene and 'distraction free' environment. The place affects the work and the work most certainly affects the place, with the ephemeral art that populates the woods, fields, trails and pond creating a perpetual sense of discovery and delight.

Tasked with establishing an overarching 'concept' for the future development of the property - including a series of new studios, workshop space, residence hall and performing arts venue - nothing short of full immersion would suffice. A 'surprisingly intense' two-week residency by partner Mark Fiedler was structured around a series of walks and talks with the artists in residence, garnering an intimate knowledge of place, a nuanced understanding of the culture and an emerging sense of priority and emphasis.

The idea of parallel gradients - public to private/constructed to natural - along with a sensitivity to site specific features, informed the demarcation of circulation routes as well as proposed locations for a constellation of new structures. An architectural vernacular and palette inspired by the specific materiality of the site was also developed. Allowing for variation and artistic collaboration, this 'language' was conceptually applied to a series of proposed structures including a prototype studio, two large visual arts studios due for completion in Spring '17, and a sound/music studio featuring state of the art recording capabilities, designated composition studio, shared courtyard and pondside amphitheater for intimate performances al fresco.

All of the studios are characterized by a 'front porch', plentiful wall space, and an expansive window wall that brings the outside in. These qualities, in addition to the studios' slightly inflected forms, establish a receptive and deferential posture - seedling acorns with protective shells, light filled interiors and unbounded creative potential.

The entire I-Park Foundation Concept Design Presentation can be viewed here, with select excerpts below.