Rings of Contemplation

HM of Archi-Hack: Panopticon


Archi-Hack: Panopticon


Rings of Contemplation: Reclaiming Physical Presence in a Digital World


Name: Polen Guzelocak

Nationality: Turkey

Institution / Company: KPF

Name: Jesus Luna

Nationality: USA

Institution / Company: Mcbride Company

In today’s digital age, although connectivity has never been easier, there’s a growing imperative for physical connection like never before. Once a symbol of supervision and isolation, panopticon offers a place of opportunity to address this concern. The project transforms a panopticon into an anti-technology retreat for self-reflection and collective growth. It invites the visitors to leave behind their digital self and take a break from modernity in order to create a space for critical discourse through contemplation, dialogue, and participation.

To dismantle the unequal power dynamics inherent in the panopticon, the design breaks down panopticon’s monumentality through introduction of other circular volumes. These volumes multiply the focal points within the complex, decentralising and thus democratising the authoritative power it once possessed. Moreover, by integrating elements of nature, the design shifts focus from external surveillance to inner reflection. Ponds, mirrors, and the central chandelier, replacing the old watchtower, scatter reflections of the sky and surrounding forest throughout the complex.

It stands as a testament to the transformative potential of architectural intervention in fostering deeper connections – both within ourselves and with the world around us – in an age where digital connectivity often overshadows the profound significance of physical presence and introspection.


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