Friday, December 21, 2007

Reinterpreting The Edge

Coastal flooding and erosion is but one of the
many factors that plays into the entire climate
crisis. This one specific aspect deals with erosion
of the perimeter between what is land and sea.
Honing in even further, we observe a prime
example of this crisis front taking hold at the
coastline of the Gulf of Mexico (for research
purposes, specifically coastal Louisiana). The
issue at hand isn’t just how to control the rampant
erosion, but how to create a new methodology
within architectural design and implementation.
The goal is to ultimately synthesize a new form of
urbanism rooted in an architecture system
capable of mediating between natural and urban
fronts in response to coastal crisis.

The system that we are proposing is not meant
to solve all the problems that arise from coastal
flooding and erosion, as this is not our intention,
but rather it will offer a design and reallocation
potential. The system is aimed toward taking
advantages of the following: sediment transport,
flooding, changes in sea-level rise that results in
coastline erosion, and harboring wetlands. The
methods of interaction between sea, coast, edge,
and land in correlation with the system are
meant to be dependent on a mapping of both the
natural front and chosen site.

This ideal offers a new critique on the way that
architecture is often deemed ‘responsive’, as it
will need to be systematically responsive to
environmental needs (floor diversion, sediment
capture/redistribution, wetland rehabilitation,
sustainable energy) as well as intellectually
responsive to human needs (of growth and

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