This project explores the transformation of coastal settlements from human-centric suburban occupation, to a shared commons among more-than-human beings, as the line between the ‘natural’ world and the built environment begins to blur. A study into predicted sea level rise over the next 80 years reveals Swansea - a coastal village at the mouth of Lake Macquarie - will be inundated by 2050 and underwater by 2100.
This project is operating as an incubator for an adaptive response to this change, by combining ‘managed retreat’ and ‘living shoreline’ strategies, at the suburban-domestic scale. The result - a tidal medicine garden.
The process of transformation is explored through stages of seasonal change we experience throughout life, which we recognise as Winter (‘the flood’), Spring (sowing), Summer (abundance) & Autumn (harvest or reaping). These are vehicles we use to shapeshift the relationship we have with our environment. To begin, this presentation aims to suspend your disbelief, when humans have retreated from this place, found higher ground and return to the site once called home to care for it - as a garden.
The architect’s role in this process is one of careful and mindful erasure, salvage and reappropriation of domestic construction material to transform a neighbourhood from an Anthropogenic graveyard into a thriving blue carbon habitat used to harvest plant medicines.