The ethos of our design strategy was as such: We sought to demonstrate that to meditate amongst one’s surroundings one mustn’t absolve them of their dynamism. Solitude and stillness are not one and the same. Asceticism does not necessarily lead to enlightenment. Often our most profound spiritual experiences are also our most sensual. The feel of the sun on our bodies as we are illuminated by its rays. The smell of wet stone awakening us with its crispness. The Cascading Observatories of Roccasalegna have been designed to envelop those who dwell within its confines with tactile representations of the forms of the heavens.
Designers: Anastazja Krynska and Jovana Randjelovic
Location: Italy
Status: Concept

Roccascalegna Fortress, is an uninhabited hill-top castle located in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The project brief called for the design of four residence typologies, each aimed at creating unique star-gazing, tourist destinations. We utilized water throughout our scheme, as it serves as an ever-changing, ever-forming mirror towards the heavens. With water features placed throughout the slope of the mountain, the sky can be further witnessed in the reflections of the pools.

Our scheme includes five, 14 m2 Cabins. The interiors of these spaces consist of an elevated sleeping area, a small seating bay with integrated storage throughout. Due to its compact size it relies on its angled sky-light and oversized ,oblique, entryway to inspire a sense of spatial grandness. Long reflecting pools, positioned at the foot of each cabin, reflect the night skies, helping to blur the boundaries between earth and sky.

Designed as a tripartite block, made up of three 40 m2 units. The apartment residences are comprised of a bathroom, a bedroom, a small kitchen, and a lounge. Although the building’s footprint is modest, its dramatic height and full-length windows, overlooking the valley below, instill an impressive presence. Its submerged bath seemingly flowing into an outdoor reflecting pool, further lengthening the space. The water from each pool cascading down to the next connecting the three buildings in its motion.

Included in our scheme are two 70 m2 houses – capable of housing four guests. The houses include two bedrooms, their private bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a living room. The building’s core is occupied by a glass- enclosed courtyard. The building’s roof houses a glass-bottom infinity pool which is located atop the main living area. With the reflections of the rippling water projecting dynamic patterns onto the concrete walls below.

The, 100 m2, villa proposal employs the same aesthetic elements of the site’s other interventions, but employs them in a more impressive manner. The main living area, which re-purposes parts of the existing castle, has been converted into a space for meditation, dining, star-gazing, and socializing. Bedrooms and bathrooms have been situated within the new additions of the building, which are set within the hillside and overlook the expansive valley below. The villa has the capacity to house up to five people, in a private and luxurious setting.

Ana and Jovana portrait
Anastazja Krynska and Jovana Randjelovic met at the Glasgow School of Art from which they received their Master of Architecture. Their shared design interests are rooted in experimentation, sustainability, and the creation of beautiful moments and spaces. They like dancing, cats and not taking themselves too seriously. Presently Anastazja is situated in Philadelphia, and Jovana in Toronto.