“How can a coastal community, a marine research station and a fleeting tourist population merge in an architectural framework within the discussion of the sea as a future place of distinct resources?
This thesis proposes an architecture that mediates between the qualities, as well as challenges, of the three characters inhabiting Skaftö island today: the local, the researcher and the tourist. Skaftö island, positioned at the inlet to Sweden’s biggest fjord has changed throughout the 20th century. From being a strong community living well of local fishery, the island has changed into a holiday destination only prospering a few weeks every summer. The identity of the coastal community is lost, and local life on the island faces the same problems as many other former fishing towns throughout Scandinavia; a shrinking and struggling full-year population, highly dependant on unsustainable tourism.
Taking point of departure in current research into seaweed as a future food recourse, the project proposes a new way of working and living on Skaftö island.
The project proposes a meeting between the local population, the marine researchers and the tourists; to merge within an investigation of seaweed as a future food recourse.”
What prompted the project?
The thesis project proposes an architecture that mediates between the qualities, as well as challenges, of the three characters inhabiting Skaftö island today: the local, the researcher and the tourist. By focusing on the place varied inhabitants, the project is inclusive of on-going global changes as well as aware of the importance of locality. The islands’ direct contact with the sea introduces opportunities to imagine a second countryside, a place where the potential of the sea is unfolded in a new way.
The three characters have shown to be equally important to create a place that is connected to the past as well as to the future. Rather than proposing a discharge or ignorance of any of the characters, the project seeks to combine the characters with all their differences.
From the map to the collage , the sketch and the model what defined the different medium s through which you articulate the project? How does each address a specific aspect ?
The process from the first collage of each character, to the final design of the building, was made through a series of steps. The collages was a way for me the “get to know” the characters, as well as building my own story around them. That revealed habits and needs in the characters personalities, that I could translate into spatial preferences for each of them. These architectural preferences were then connected to the site and it’s conditions.
What tools and sources did you use to formulate and articulate your research?
By methodically working with the characters as a conceptual framework, the island is read in a tripartite way. The characters unfold and channel through their qualities and particularities, a sequence of spatial, tectonic and temporal realities that comes together in the design of the project.
Furthermore, interviewing, filming, photographing and reading have been important to understand the island, it’s inhabitants.
What role do the silhouettes play? how they talk about the different characters involved in the project?
The first encounter with the characters was made through collages that capture the characters’ relation to the sea. The color red marks which role the sea plays in the character’s life. The objects and views of the characters have been key elements to understand them through a mapping process. The spatial and material qualities of the project are connected to the studies of identity of each of the characters in relationship to the mappings and their relation to the sea.
The collages, together with the material and spatial preferences translated from them, play a distinct role in framing the characters wishes and desires for this place as well as for the design of a new space.
What dictated the scale and type of model?
The models should show the building’s relation to the bay that it is located in, as well as the direct connection to the research station area. Through my drawings the building was described in 1:100, 1:50 as well as 1:20, so 1:200 was a good detail scale to show the building, where the overall architecture and it’s relation to the immediate context could be seen. The 1:2000 model shows the building as a new way to live, work and explore the shore of the the bay.