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michael jantzen

michael jantzen

Santa Fe, NM, US

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The Isolation Retreat

The Isolation Retreat

The Isolation Retreat was designed in response to the corona virus pandemic and the need to isolate ourselves as much as possible from others. In this case, the idea of facilitating isolation has been taken to an extreme solution in the form of a prefabricated retreat structure that can be installed into almost any kind of remote location, without the need for conventional utilities. Specifically, the Isolation Retreat functions as a remote getaway for two people who periodically feel the need to isolate themselves from their normal daily lives, and therefore reduce the possibility of being infected by the virus.

The painted prefabricated steel structure is elevated above the surrounding landscape on four large support legs. The only entrance to the retreat is accessed via a long staircase that is divided by a landing at the center. The lower portion of the staircase can be raised and lowered by a small remotely controlled electric motor in order to keep unwanted visitors from entering the retreat.  The circular shape of the retreat symbolically refers to a fortress, and provides the owners with a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. A narrow lower level exterior deck encircles most of the enclosed living space of the retreat. This circular shaped living space contains a sleeping area, a food preparation and eating area, and a work area. A bathroom extends out beyond the circular shaped living space. 

A large open-air deck/observation platform is built onto the top of the circular living space and bathroom. This space is fitted with a bench built into the perimeter and a large skylight/seat at the center. Directly above the skylight/seat, a large electric light is mounted onto the ceiling of the roof that covers the deck/observation platform. This roof also supports a large array of solar cells that heat the domestic water and convert sunlight into electricity that is stored in batteries for use in the retreat. The roof is also designed to collect rainwater that is filtered and stored for use in the retreat.

The Isolation Retreat uses propane gas for cooking, space heating, and for backup water heating. The bathroom is equipped with a composting type toilet. The water, propane gas, batteries, and domestic storage are all kept within a large cylindrical shaped container that is mounted onto the bottom of the circular shaped living space. The items stored in the container can be accessed from the outside of the retreat structure, and/or from the inside of the living space through a portal built into the center of the floor.

 
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Status: Unbuilt