The Graffiti Castle
As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown”-
Scotland has always been a country steeped in magic and mystery. A land that calls out to those who want to spend their days exploring and connecting with nature. Throughout the centuries, Scotland has kept that mystical feel despite industry evolution. It is also home to some of the most interesting buildings in Europe. Kelburn Castle, is known for its fairytale- like architecture and more recently for the infamous project that welcomed modern art to breathe life back into the old building.
Located in Fairlie, North Ayrshire, Scotland, there is a hidden wonder. Kelburn Castle has been cared for by the Boyle family for centuries. Unfortunately, there is no record of when it was built but researchers believe it would have been around 1143. Its first life was as a wooden structure but it would be rebuilt with stone in 1200. The architect did such a good job designing the keep that some parts are still used today.
Then what is it about Kelburn Castle that makes it so special? When the Boyle family discovered that there would be some extensive work needed on parts of the castle, they decided to do something a little extra special than just cover the facade in cement. As a result, Kelburn became a work of art.
The exterior of this architectural masterpiece was painted by four of the most talented Brazilian street artists. Their whimsical and lively style created such a juxtaposition against the rural background that it garnered a lot of press and media attention, drawing people from all over the world. The artists who collaborated on this were Otavio, Gustavo Pandolfo, Nina Pandolfo, and Nunca. It took over a month and more than 15,000 aerosol cans to create this monumental piece of urban art.
Despite only being allowed the graffiti up for 3 years by the council,Historic Scotland (the government agency responsible for preserving the nation's historic monuments), granted an extension due to a mass appeal from the public and the Boyle family. That means that you can go see this extraordinary castle for yourself.
The whole process was documented and you can view this fantastic transformation on Youtube. Just search: THE GRAFFITI PROJECT ON KELBURN CASTLE