top of page

The Solace Shores: A Journey through Solitude

Chenxing Du & Jiaxuan Qin

As a significant health and social concern, loneliness is becoming more widely acknowledged. Former US surgeon general Vivek Murthy has even called it an epidemic (Surkalim et. al, 2022). As times change, the extensive use of social media and the internet has made it harder and harder for us to actually reach each other, and instead of stable, long-lasting relationships, people have become a myriad of weak connections.

Even though many people feel lonely, they survived to find the cause, so this project is aiming at designing a museum to provide the visual and sequential experience of loneliness through space and environment recreation.

With the film Manchester by the Sea as background, The Solace Shores introduced film narrative as design method, so as to make the visitor's journey more storytelling and impact.

The museum is located on the beach in Shirahama, Japan, where the building's silhouette blends into the white sand of the beach. Through the creation of a series of beach-sea bottom-sea surface journey, visitors can learn about loneliness, experience loneliness, internalise their feelings and achieve self-identification and liberation.

The design of the tour is based on two main themes: "Outward Looking" and "Inward Reflection".

In the first theme, this project sets up three main exhibition halls and various temporary installations to break down loneliness through the three dimensions of "man and man", "man and society" and "man and the world".

In the second theme, a space for meditation and communication is set up to encourage visitors to think about and explore loneliness in relation to their own experiences and those of others. Finally, using the environment of the site, setting up the undersea tunnel and the sea "island" platform, the vast sea is the last exhibition hall, visitors can feel the loneliness brought about by the nothingness or the feeling of relief and satisfaction, just as the open-ended ending of Manchester by the Sea, this is a no answer to the end of the road.

In conclusion, this project reflects the seaside location of the museum, where visitors can find solace and a sense of tranquility. It implies comfort or consolation, suggesting that despite the theme of loneliness, the museum offers an opportunity for inner reflection and peace. This Journey through Solitude signifies the immersive experience within the museum, taking visitors on a trans-formative journey through various manifestations of loneliness depicted in Manchester by the Sea. It encourages visitors to explore and confront different aspects of solitude, ultimately prompting introspection and contemplation about their own relationship with loneliness. Together, "The Solace Shores: A Journey through Solitude" captures the essence of museum, inviting visitors to explore the depths of loneliness while providing a serene escape from the chaos of city life.


Surkalim, D. L., Luo, M., Eres, R., Gebel, K., van Buskirk, J., Bauman, A., & Ding, D. (2022). The prevalence of loneliness across 113 countries: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj, 376

bottom of page