Dominican Convent in Nisida Islet
José C. Díaz Linares
Canary Islands, Spain
According to the designer, the Dominican Convent project addresses the place of this ancient institution in the 21st century. The buildings are located at the top of the island to take advantage of the views and serve as a public space platform. Five volumes emerge from this platform: church, library, chapter house, refectory, and cells. Spaces between these volumes frame the views. Part of the convent is covered by a light wooden lattice structure that attracts the eye and gives shade to the square. The cloister has a singular place in the heart of the building, notes the designer, “where one can hear the waves of the sea, touch the limestone, and feel the warmth of the sun–a place to reconnect with yourself.”
The Dominican Convent student project is built upon a precipice where one might contemplate life’s more significant questions while providing a place for social interaction in the religious community. It suggests the same risk to the spiritual life through seduction by the sublime, as explored in the novel and film Black Narcissus.