THE EMBASSY OF GOTLAND
Final university project, 2020
The Embassy of Gotland is a project that expands the concept of an embassy and challenges what is believed an embassy should be. Beginning the narrative with creating an imaginary country, Gotland, the project explores how such country would choose to be represented in a foreign land.
The narrative takes place in the year 2030. The world is being engulfed in fear as its natural recourses are becoming more sparse every day. However, the citizens of Gotland, a newly formed country located on what used to be a Swedish island with the same name, found a way of sustaining the country with the limited resources it has. Minimising the use of electricity, the people of Gotland rely heavily on farming, alternative sources of energy, recycling and handicraft.
Gotland's embassies all over the world occupy previously vacant buildings and were designed to prepare the people who would like to move to Gotland for the country's specific lifestyle and to give them hope.
The embassies host interviews with the candidates to choose the ones who seem dedicated enough to completely change their lifestyles, and they are then invited to live at the embassies and acquire the skills necessary for the life in Gotland.
The Embassy of Gotland is one of those embassies and is located in Fareham, England, in a former courthouse building.
The Embassy of Gotland represents Gotland in the UK and serves as a facility or a camp for people who wish to move to Gotland to prepare for the move by adapting to the new lifestyle and learning the skills that are compulsory for a citizen of Gotland. This section of the project illustrates the Embassy, its functions and structure, its flow and aesthetic, as well as its residents and their experiences.
Was studying business at a university but dropped out, is interested in sustainability and would like to try living an as close to fully sustainable life as possible.
Has a degree in ecology and would like to use his knowledge to contribute to the development of Gotland.
Physics teacher, values teamwork and communication, would like to start a new chapter in life for her family by moving to Gotland together.
Is disappointed in the society because he is surrounded by people who don’t believe in recycling, and wants to move to a place where people are environmentally conscious.
Has been a carpenter for 30 years and thinks that his carpentry skills could be useful for Gotland and its community.
Hardworking but struggles financially, believes that joining Gotland promises her a better life than she currently has.
Studied fashion, doesn’t buy new clothes but reuses old ones, wants to share his knowledge and learn new skills.
Doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere, so would like to take this opportunity and become a part of a welcoming community.
Ground floor plan (1:200 on A3) that features interview rooms, a conference room, exhibition plinths and SVÄNGAs.
Perspectives of the ground floor showing the exhibition areas and the interview rooms
First floor plan (1:200 on A3) that features a carpentry workshop, a pottery workshop, a sewing/knitting/crochet workshop, a gardening workshop and a lecture/seminar area
Perspectives of the first floor showing the pottery workshop and the lecture/seminar area
Second floor plan (1:200 on A3) that features an accommodation area, a dining area, a communal kitchen, a library and a terrace garden
Perspectives of the second floor showing the kitchen and the library
East section (1:200 on A3)
West section (1:200 on A3)
North section (1:200 on A3)
Programmatic diagram of the ground floor. This floor is accessible to the public and serves as both a place for people to learn about Gotland through the exhibition that showcases the craft of the people of Gotland, as well as students' work, and a test system to determine if a candidate is suitable for becoming a citizen of Gotland.
When one enters the building, they encounter a machine with a display that asks them what they would like to do. If they wish to view the exhibition, they can choose that option on the display and the machine will tell the to follow the blue lines on the ground. If they would like to join the camp, they will be given a ticket and asked to wait until their number is called. While they are waiting they will see other people using SVÄNGAs and they can join them. That becomes part of the test that evaluates their teamwork and participation skills. After that they have their interview with one of the staff members who will decide whether the person seems ready to change their lifestyle and has the right motivation and can therefore join the camp. If the person is a representative of another country or a climate change organisation, they will be invited to the conference room for a meeting.
Programmatic diagram of the first floor. This floor is only accessible to the residents of the Embassy and houses multiple workshops that co-exist within the open-plan layout of the space. The workshops provide the residents/students with the skills that the Gotland government considers essential for its citizens.
Programmatic diagram of the second floor. Accesible only to the residents of the Embassy, this floor is a residential area consisting of four flats, that together can house 18 people, a dining area, a kitchen, a library and a terrace garden.
This drawing shows what a day in the life of someone who is the Embassy's resident looks like. The drawing uses zoom-ins of the plans, the referenced areas being highlighted in the previous diagrams with black frames.