Alternative Histories: Dyvik Kahlen Architects on Tony Fretton

Dyvik Kahlen Architects, Tony Fretton’s sketch of building entrance for the Holy Island Buddhist Retreat Centre, 2018. Stucco-embossed aluminium, corrugated aluminium, foam board, black foam, timber veneer, stone, green fabric, 420 × 297 × 90 mm.
Tony Fretton (1945), sketch, Building Entrance for the Holy Island Buddhist Retreat Centre, Scotland, 1993. Pen and ink on tracing paper, 296 × 420 mm. DMC 2888.5.

A Ruin


The sketch is finished and unfinished at the same time, it’s precise and equally ambiguous. In a way architecture should be the same, somewhere between a ruin and a loved space. A ruin understood as a spatial sequence that follows it’s own internal logic, void of an immediate functional purpose. Loved through an ever changing context and appropriated by a life that unfolds in seasons and moves on as society evolves.

The model learns from the space hinted at in Tony Fretton’s sketch and builds the spatial sequence of a ruin. We take this ruin serious and propose a way to inhabit it with minimum means and costs. We make it ours. For a moment.


– Dyvik Kahlen Architects