Kanjanadit District: A Developing Water Community

Project

From coastal cities through rivers, oases, lakes, marshes or over the sea, human settlements have always had a strong dependence on water as engine of life and development. But how does this relationship affect our way of living? Which are the constructive solutions of the aquatic environment? Are we capable of creating amphibious cities adaptable to an imminent and unstoppable climate change?

There are numerous examples of cities on water from the well-known and tourist Venice to others less explored such as Makoko in Laos, Uros in Peru, Aberdeen in China or Kanjanadit in Thailand.

Kanjanadir is where our project is located. In this district, dedicated to aquaculture of oysters clams and mussels, on the water and in very low density the Kanum towers are scattered where the farmers spend long and solitary days in surveillance.

Due to its great wealth and natural variety, this area has played a major tourist development in recent years, which has led to the progressive disappearance of the traditional construction model in pursuit of an industrialized and aggressive architecture.

The objective of the project is to provide a local strategy to create tourism that respects the environment, generating experiences where water, nature and people come together. Through the implementation of the local building system we will adapt the Kanum to the new needs, shelters, cabins, observation and exhibition areas, dining rooms, restaurants.

The system, of triangular slabs, self-sufficient, adaptable and removable, will allow us to create new forms, while the use of indigenous materials such as palm or bamboo, will preserve the traditional aesthetics of the buildings, allowing farmers to diversify their business without losing control of their lands, directly affecting the residents but making the water open and culturally accessible.

Interview

Who influences you graphically? 

When drawing architecture, I have always differentiated between colour and black and white drawings.

With regards to black and white, I have been particularly interested in the drawings from Learning From las Vegas by Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi. I am also drawn to the floor plans of Archizoom and Enric Miralles.

Olympic Archery Range by Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos

With regards to coloured drawings and renders I have always been very influenced by video games as; the Age Of Empires, Civilization, Patrician or WarCraft, where city is revealed through a small axonometric, a typology of drawing which is very recognizable to a young audience. It seems to me that this way of counting places allows them to project semi-realistic utopias. In addition, all video games have a strong environmental and image aesthetics that imbued with brand design.

In addition to the above mentioned, I am also interested in scientific drawings; drawings of neurons (Ramón y Cajal), taxonomies (Ernst Haekel) atmospheric phenomena (meteosat), physical phenomena (René Descartes), star systems (Emma McNelly), which without pretending to be artistic elements sometimes surprise for their creativity, complexity and expressive clarity. I think that this type of image can help us to represent systems that increasingly have more variables, both in architecture and in urban planning.

Ramón y Cajal

What defined the selection of drawings through which you articulate the project? 

The project is designed to be understood by two types of users. On one hand, it had to have a sufficient technical definition (as it was a final project thesis) and on the other I wanted to do something that both the users of my project (oyster, clams and mussels farmers) and my friends and family could understand.

The drawings of floor, elevation, section plans and construction details are made to be read by an expert public, trying to comply with the necessary requirements of the architectural thesis project. All of these drawings are in black and white but do not renounce to a general aesthetic.

The coloured drawings, axonometric, elevations and renderings, are aimed to be read by a non-expert audience, and aim to hint to an environment, to materiality in an attempt to depict a more realistic and accessible project, familiar to the non-expert reader. 

Although the sections and axonometric reveal the interaction and inhabitance of the individual, the renders are devoid of any human presence why so?

That the renders do not devoid human presence was not a conscious act. Thinking about it afterwards, maybe it is due to the small scale of the project, in which the size of the buildings is understandable, and I did not find it necessary to feature people. It may also be due to the fact that, in the renders, I wanted to show a catalogue of the volumetric possibilities of the triangular slab rather than images of how the space was to be inhabited.

What was the effect and purpose for the inclusion of the medium of trip advisor? How has this tool morphed and changed tourism and the way we conceive of places?

The whole project is based on the possibility that non-professional agents (oyster farmers, clams and mussels) can offer tourist accommodation in the bay. This is only possible thanks to new pages such as TripAdvisor or AirBnB, which allow visibility and publicity of activities, accommodations and less “common” places. A few years ago, this was unthinkable since all the accommodations and places were offered through travel agencies, which only presented access to the most common and known places.

TripAdvisor allows us to go to places with references of other people, something that is very useful when reaching distant and remote destinations, where perhaps it was not possible to venture so easily before.

It has also allowed people with lower income to travel, by increasing the offer of types of accommodation and activities.

Did you ever think of pushing the medium of trip advisor so that the whole project could be narrated through this format?

The idea of the project initially originated as accommodation and activities that were offered through TripAdvisor. The objective was to demonstrate that places as remote, unknown and sparsely populated as Kanjanadit, in Bandon Bay, could become potential tourist destinations thanks to this and other web pages.

Although I started developing the project on these terms, it was not possible to continue this way, due to the complexity demanded for the final thesis project (which requires the representation in plan, section and constructive details). TripAdvisor only allowed me to represent the project through renders / images and some data, that is for an understanding of a non-expert user.

How could this platform be challenged to act as a means which helps your project in creating a more aware and informed tourism?

I would like to emphasize that pages such as TripAdvisor or AirBnB have generated a whole new range of possibilities whilst also producing a whole new series of problems such as gentrification, ‘massification’, displacement of citizen-inhabitant in pursuit of a citizen-tourist…

I think these platforms could advertise tourism that is more respectful with its surroundings through adding new categories; eco-tourism, rural tourism, educational activities, work cooperatives, NGOs, etc. Trying to make a difference between the agents that pursuit an aggressive tourism with the environment and those who carry out their activities in a respectful way, so that the clients that look for activities with a lower environmental impact can reach them.

About

Ane is a Spanish architect, born in Alicante in 1991.  She studied at the Archictecture School of Madrid in the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She completed her year abroad at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago where she developed her Thesis project “Kanjanadit WaterWorld: a developing water community” in collaboration with INDA in Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Ane has worked at two small firms FORMA Architecture at Chicago and Julio Jiménez Corral Arquitectos in Madrid.

Nowadays she works at CYPE engineering company that develops software for architecture, engineering and constructions, at the Research and Developement department.

She’s co-founder of the Cultural Association Over and Out whose main objective is to promote, in the educational field, the comprehension and diffusion of contemporary art through dance.

Ane collaborates with the web page Un dia / Una arquitecta whose objective is to boost the recognition of women in architecture through the writing and diffusion of biographies.

#Interviews