Irene Vestergård Hansen
This project deals with the historical buildings on Hospital Street 21-22-23 in Christiansted, St. Croix. The former military barracks, left in an abandoned and ruinous state, are to become the new School of Architecture and Building Crafts established by the University of The Virgin Islands.
The former barracks in no. 22 will provide studios for 140 students while no. 21 will be the center of activity facilitating workshops and a canteen. A new infill-building will contain a lecture hall and offices for teachers and administration and the ruin in no. 23 will provide the school with a public exhibition hall and a library on the first floor. The main focus of this project has been the ruin.
The goal has been to maintain the experience of being in a ruin while providing the building with a roof and rooms for new functions. The new additions are clearly recognizable from the existing fabric. Local materials and building tradition have had a great role in the transformation of the ruin. Elements such as the hip roof, shingles, shutters, wooden construction and high ceilings are all evident in the project, but with a modern expression and facades with sharp and precise edges.