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The Agri/Aqua-Cultural Guild of Depolderisation

Part 2 Project 2022
Daniel Stephen Cutler
Charlie William Donaldson
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture | UK
The Guild enacts a strategic deconstruction of the polder landscape south of the island abbey of Mont Saint-Michel on the Normandy coast. It seeks to reconcile the economic and social benefits of this highly productive reclaimed farmland with the immediate environmental impact of rising sea levels on a richly biodiverse tidal landscape of saltmarsh and mudflats.

Funded by the French farming guilds, it acts as a landscape in miniature, a laboratory, monitoring station and training ground for the necessary transition from agriculture to aquaculture. Facilitating either the strengthening of sea dykes to reinforce reclaimed farmland or, their deconstruction as a means to receive and support the threatened habitats of the saltmarsh.

The elevated deck structure of the Guild houses gardens of production and research: a tree nursery, soil sampling station and oyster beds. Fabricated using materials and craftsmanship local to the region in wood, stone and metal, the engineered timber and granite structure beds into the underlying bedrock to cantilever over mud, marsh and tidal flux.

The Guild speaks to the island abbey as landscape and architecture through scripted views: orientation, elevated terracing and a mirrored tectonic of mass and void locked in a constant negotiation with the rising tide.

Daniel Stephen Cutler
Charlie William Donaldson

Tutor(s)
Victoria Clare Bernie
Adrian Hawker
2022
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