Robyn Davis + Paddy McElroy


The constant tidal cycles and continuing sea level rise which characterises the coastline of Almada, Portugal, reveals contested landscapes and creates new transitory borders. Such borders create a speculative space, providing new opportunities for ownership rights, human waves of immigration and ecological systems. 

We propose that the Municipality of Almada award ownership of this vulnerable coastline to a Community Benefit Society in order to circumnavigate global climate inaction and instead support localised action. As such, our architectural response is a series of buildings situated across the threshold of land and sea; acting as a catalyst for creating and reinforcing a culture of localised ecological responsibility. To achieve this goal, the programmatic intention of these buildings creates overlap between empirical data gathered through scientific research and the qualitative data of lived experience (storytelling).  Stories are powerful in this way, as they have the capacity to engage where scientific data often can’t. Used as a medium of cultural continuity throughout human history, stories are grounded in the community and locality of their origin, connecting landscape and experience across generations.

As a key part of the thesis, the Combined Thesis Report outlines the intentions and research of the project.