Type: Artists’ Village

Site: Allerton Park, Monticello, IL

Award: Alpha Rho Chi Anderson Scholarship

Allerton Park is an oasis of seemingly wild nature within a manicured landscape. To fully experience Allerton Park one must venture deep within the forest to discover hidden treasures throughout the forest. This Artists Village is meant to be one of those hidden treasures. Centered along the creek that flows into the Sangamon River, these cabins are meant to be a part of the landscape so that the artists become deeply rooted into the land.

On the approach towards the village from the parking lot, the view is obscured by a small wall in order to appeal to people’s curiosity. The cabins on the site are laid out on a grid that has been superimposed onto the forest to bring order into the land. Each cabin is catered towards either artists that prefer working with others or artists that work better on their own. The collaborating artists cabins are placed next to pathways and feature a window to display their art on. Inside the cabin is a large studio space that can be used for collaborations from other artists in the village. The more personal cabins feature a larger bedroom space and a smaller more personal studio space. Cabins also have private outdoor spaces that are defined with hedges.

In between all the cabins are reflection pools that flow into the creek. Water for the reflecting pools is collected from the green roofs and slowly released. These pools give a visual connection between the cabins and the forest. Heat is provided by geothermal water pumps that send warm water flowing through pipes in the floor. Throughout the site the ground is made to level in order to be inclusive to all people.