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Living with Water - Lincolnshire Adaptive Landscapes

Part 2 Project 2013
Kayleigh Watts
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
In an age of sustainability focused on the short term approach of carbon reduction and mitigation my thesis project aspires to investigate the changing relationships that will occur between architecture, the landscape and water in an era when we are forced to adapt to the challenges of climate change. Conservative estimates predict sea levels will continue to rise as the oceans warm and ice caps melt, predicted increased rainfall intensity and isostatic rebound will only contribute to exacerbating the situation further. Large centres of urban populations situated on the coast face dramatic challenges to their social and economic way of life currently established.

Landscape Script

Located along the entire Lincolnshire coastline an experimental landscape of intertidal salt marsh habitats operating as a protective infrastructure of sediment banks and wildlife havens have been envisaged. Restoring the coast to nature via a managed ‘sacrificial’ retreat acts as a necessary blue print for future survival along the coastline and enables this emerging interface to become the central organising infrastructure of a reinvented coastal urbanism. The presence of an emerging renewable energy sector along this exposed stretch of shoreline will be exploited within this landscape proposition to revitalise the declining seaside industries and provide a system of catalytic elements, optimized for long-term sustainability. Simulated ecologies, reefs and offshore environmental leisure destinations will be imposed. Plans for a North Sea Regional Development will allow this area to become a major player in global energy production.

Deposited within this radical context an Environment Monitoring and Research Facility will act to stabilize the landscape, encouraging the configuration of a natural sand/shingle landform and defence mechanism against flooding, whilst the structure itself will become an ecological monitoring device and vehicle to research and transform environmental policy. Researchers and scientists will colonise this offshore modular research unit, surveying the fragile landscape around them whilst investigating the effects of climate change within controlled laboratory environments. A visitor museum, teaching areas and interactive research spaces allow all forms of society to engage and contribute to the research being conducted ensuring innovative renewable technology practices for the future will be developed.

Kayleigh Watts


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