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 a 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 resourses 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, have 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 has embassies all over the world which occupy previously vacant buildings. They 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 embassy’s host interviews the candidates to choose the ones who seem dedicated enough to completely change their lifestyles. 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 ground floor is accessible to the public and contains interview rooms, a conference room and an exhibition that showcases the craft of the people of Gotland, as well as students’ work.
The first 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.
Also accessible only to the residents of the Embassy, the second floor is a residential area consisting of four flats which together can house 18 people, a dining area, a kitchen, a library and a terrace garden.
One of the main challenges of this project was to create a coherent layout in a mainly open-plan space that would flow well and be functional. Another aim was to avoid using existing furniture and to make it fully bespoke and unique to the design.