James Fearnley

Architecture/Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 2) MArch


Based on current predictions of sea level rise, the city of Hull will mostly disappear below the waves of the North Sea by 2100. Our current strategies of total defence are flawed, leaving us vulnerable to the inevitable. A radical alternative must be found or we'll meet a Malthusian fate. Based on a broad array of precedents, Hull’s anticipated flooding establishes a context to apply ideas of self-governance and participatory architecture. The project uses the dystopian future, that Hull currently faces, to create a new playful proposal, rejecting the disparities and fractures within the current city. A new technical ground offers a new commons for the citizens of Hull, in a paradigm shift to a new normal. The project creates a city for people to inhabit and adapt. This proposal creates a canvas for Hull to reimagine itself and evolve existing as well as new collaborative skills. This whole new way of life elevates itself from the floods and disaster below, creating a self-sustaining circular economy. The suspended grid presents an opportunity for the people of Hull to reinvent their city through co-operative governance of the new, utopian commons. Our Promethean hopes live on.