Camelot. The legendary castle of King Arthur. The very word reeks of magic.
It’s where, in the midst of the Dark Ages, Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table fought to save Britain from hostile barbarian armies. It’s where, when all hope was lost, when three of Britain’s four major cities had already been sacked, Arthur and his knights stood their ground and restored hope to a broken nation. It’s where, when a country of vulnerable people “needed a hero,” they got one.
Camelot reminds us of all the spine-tingling legends we heard as children: the triumphs of battle, the transcendence of the Holy Grail, the powers of Merlin, the might of Excalibur, the heartache and betrayal of Arthur’s beloved Guinevere falling into the arms of his close and trusted friend, Sir Lancelot.
But one question still rages about this greatest of all legends, one issue that is hotly debated by the world’s top scholars and historians to this day: did Arthur, and his kingdom of Camelot, ever even exist…? That’s where ArchMedium comes in.
With resources and technology at an all time high, scholars and historians are able to debate this question now more than ever. But the resources are scattered. Frail books are holed up in distant monasteries. Relics are homed deep within the ruins of faraway abbeys. There’s even a round table with the names of Arthur’s knights hanging in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle.
It is time to build a research and entertainment center where all the great texts, the great paintings, the great poems, films, plays, relics, and documentaries about Arthur, and about all the other great works from medieval literature, can be viewed together as one living, breathing salute; where historians can continue their work, where families can bring their children, where everyone enchanted by the stories of Arthur and his knights, or by the stories of Beowulf, or The Canterbury Tales, or Tristan and Isolt, or any of the countless other literary masterpieces from the Middle Ages, can come together and celebrate these legends… It is time to build Camelot.
And what better place to build this new research and entertainment center than on the very same spot where the castle of Camelot once stood?
For this competition, you are being asked to build a top-of-the-line research and amusement center in South Cadbury, England, on the very same spot that once was home to Camelot.
This center will be both an exciting tourist attraction and the most functional medieval literature research facility in the world. Although the legend of King Arthur is at the forefront of the Camelot Center, the museum will also be home to thousands of other books and antiques that preserve and celebrate all the great literature from Medieval Europe.
South Cadbury is like most towns in rural England. It is filled with hardworking farmers and merchants, stony gates and ruins, muddy knolls, and even the occasional pub here and there for locals to kick their feet up in. It is a quiet, humble town that just happens to be the birthplace of a legend.
On the outskirts of the town, there is a plain-looking hill with a flattened peak; this, according to legend, is where the mystical castle of Camelot once stood.
The Camelot Center will need to be equipped to house books and other antiquities that may be over a thousand years old. It will be part research center, part museum, and part family fun center. It will have to incorporate the researchers’ needs to do their work, while also operating as an exciting, interactive museum where families and their children can spend their vacations.
With South Cadbury being less than an hour’s drive from Bristol, and less than a two and a half hours’ drive from both London and Cardiff, there will be plenty of opportunity to draw in tourists; since Bristol is extremely close, the Camelot Center will even become the perfect “day trip” destination, a place where families can spend a single day, enjoying their lunch and the excitement of the center while still being able to get back home (or to their big city hotel) before dark.
The Camelot Center building will be an iconic image that future generations will forever tie to the legend of King Arthur. Will the building be an homage to the history of Camelot, or will it be something completely modern? Those are decisions for you to make.
Camelot is yours. Now go and build it.
As mentioned before, there’s a plain-looking hill with a flattened peak on the outskirts of South Cadbury. According to historians, this is where the castle of Camelot once stood.
This spot was an ideal location to defend. Although the actual castle is gone now, there are still parts of its perimeter wall that remain visible. The hill’s peak is a very steep climb from most of its sides and has just one access point from the town’s main road. The top of the hill also offers a relatively flat site to build on. There are amazing, 360 degree views in every direction, something the occupants of the castle used in the past to view and thwart attacking armies.
Today, the defensive component of the hill is obviously not as important as it used to be. However, the site and its views is still magical. The top of this hill is the site chosen to locate the Camelot Center and it’s where you’ll have to place your building.