Meeting Round de Field is a group project developed by Mattias Huus Højlund and me. It investigates the sense of place in a context of post-colonial rootlessness, and asks how architecture can play a role in developing the identity of a culture that was born out of an oppressive power structure, and today is heavily influenced by globalization.
The project proposes a center for recreation and culture located in a distressed neighborhood on the US Virgin Islands, formerly known as the Danish West Indies. By gaining an understanding of the place through thorough investigations, the aim is to celebrate local characteristics by balancing historical, social, and climatic conditions with contemporary circumstances. The monumentality of the structure makes it a landmark for the whole island, while activating and including the local community, contributing to an enhanced self-awareness.
The site is part of the collaborative project “In Search of Identity” with representatives from Denmark and the US Virgin Islands, which seeks to raise the means to renovate and re-purpose historical buildings on the Islands. The strategy for Charlotte Amalie is to create a ‘Cultural Corridor’ that extends from the harbor up into the valley, terminating at “Round de Field”. Along the corridor, renovated old buildings and new public institutions will hold different cultural activities.