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Climate Emergency Sea Level Mitigation


Christopher Procter taught a 10 day design workshop at the biannual Archiprix Awards student Conference in 2009 held in Uruguay at the Universidad de la Republica.  Archiprix awards the best graduating student projects from around the world. All shortlisted students were invited with their projects exhibited before the final prizes awarded. The conference was organised by the Dutch Archiprix with speakers including keynote Bjark Ingels and Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake, prize award ceremony, and design workshops at the university run by local and invited academics.  All workshop design themes that year were based on a water theme.


Chris chose to look at mitigation of Climate Emergency rising sea levels on the city of Montevideo. The project 'Floodlines' lead by Chris was developed by six students with two local architects for 3 main areas of concern; the embankment of the old town, the point, and the eastern beaches. Mapping 5m, 10m, and 15m sea rises showed these areas were effected differently. The old town on a hill above the sea rise could be protected by new walls and salt water moats, La Rambla Sur. The promontory point, Punta Brava, at sea level could be sacrificed but marked by a new landmark tower with raised pedestrian access. The eastern beaches area, Playa de los Pocintos and others, would allow the sea to reclaim the lowest areas with loss of beach and street canals. New floating raised buffer islands would become the new beaches and protect the city from extreme surges.




The new landmark tower at Punta Brava would be built on the existing point which would eventually be out in the higher sea. This new landmark for the city would look back at history to two similar landmark towers Palacio Salvo in Montevideo and Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires both tallest buildings of their day which where visible to passengers arriving by sea. Iconic images of the towers with Zeppelins flying above suggested to students the new landmark tower at Punta Brava could be a new-tech Zeppelin docking terminal as part of a new transport system connecting Argentina and Uruguay. 

The project enabled students to design a speculative research project based on gaining local knowledge of Montevideo particularly as the students were an international cohort of students from Mexico, Brazil, Scotland and Switzerland.  The local knowledge and materials carried into constructing the architectural models from non traditional items found at a local street market. Students found leather for the sea and sand beaches, mate tea drinking straw for the tower link, hair clips and food stuffs all of which resulted in fresh unexpected models.

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