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The Writing Tower of Little Sparta

Part 1 Project 2012
Arseni Timofejev
Mackintosh School of Architecture | UK
The Writing Tower is a new addition to the sculpture garden of Little Sparta, created by the late artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay. Presented with his powerful legacy, the Tower does not shy away and responds with an ‘Attack’ in the spirit of the garden. It is also a ‘Sun-dial’ that encourages Little Sparta to grow, and becomes part of the new ‘Gate of Thermopylae’ threshold. A simple, timeless object charged with multiple meanings, it continues along the lines of Finlay’s artworks as artefacts carefully placed within the garden.

The Tower is a residence where 6 writers live, share ideas and work for a year. It removes them from the distractions of the everyday as they explore the magical garden and develop their work assisted by a Recital Space, Reading Salon and the Wall of Books that houses Finlay’s own library. The “off grid” Tower is managed by a Director who is also there to assist the visitors of Little Sparta, and help the writers work undisturbed.

To create a building worthy of the garden, I felt that a level of detail and craft similar to that of Finlay’s artworks had to be achieved, which made physical testing and the consideration of buildability an important part of the design process. The Writing Tower is hence a counterpart to Little Sparta: a manifestation of ideas in the physical form.

Arseni Timofejev


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