“The coastal village of Happisburgh in North Norfolk is falling into the sea,” we read in their pamphlet. It’s a victim of rising sea levels, climate change and government inaction.
While other villages would simply pack everything up and leave, never to return, the duo imagines a condition between flight and colonization, between temporary settlement and permanent retreat, all the while inhabiting a perpetually shifting edge.
“Our proposal for a retreating village of small houses and streets is deployed in the disintegrating territory between the sea and the land. The village reacts to predicted rates of retreat, as much as five meters per year, by sliding and shifting to safer land. To achieve this the scheme employs a mechanical landscape of winches, pulleys, rails, and counterweights, mimicking techniques for hauling boats from the waves. It also adopts [from a millennia’s worth of garden and landscape design?] an architectural language of impermanence, of permeable screens, loose-fit structures, and cheap materials that complement and contribute to the nature of the restless landscape.”