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The retreating village

Allen, L.; Smout, M.; (2005) The retreating village. [Design]. Green open access

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Summary: The coastal village of Happisburgh in North Norfolk is falling into the sea. The cliffs, dunes and sea defence structures that protect this predominately low-lying county and its extensive freshwater Broads from inundation cannot contend with the force of rising sea levels and climate change. Government policies that allow coastal retreat by failing to intervene with an active policy such as a Shoreline Management Plan, have conspired to leave the village undefended from the action of the sea and the wind. Questions/Aims/Objectives: The Retreating Village looks at the threat of coastal erosion. The project questions whether vulnerable territories can remain occupied and considers how, if so, this occupation might be manifest. The project aims to propose an architectural language of representation and investigation that inhabits the disintegrating territory. Contexts: The project exists in the design research context of conceptual architectural design. Sustainability, climate change, alternative energy, dynamic landscape management and landscape retention schemes are considered, and also the historic context of peripatetic villages. Methods: Normative orthographic demonstrations of architectural space are avoided, and instead drawings utilize multiple viewpoints to emphasis disintegration. A lexicon of architectural devices allow the building to accumulate as the landscape retreats. Models in three scales exhibit the process of collapse and the architecture as it shifts to new ground.

Type: Design
Title: The retreating village
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Exhibited at Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, 2005 and 2006, and Augmented Landscapes, Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy, Wales, 2007. Discussed/documented in Laura Allen and Mark Smout, (2005) ‘Restless Landscapes’, conference paper, ‘In The Making’, Copenhagen (catalogue and internet publication), and Smout Allen, Augmented Landscapes, Pamphlet Architecture 28 (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007). Authorship: As part of the joint architectural practice Smout Allen, Allen and Smout both contribute equally to the research.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/9740
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