Amphibious Habitats offers a reflection, both theoretical and practical, on how architecture can inhabit, restore, and preserve the blurry ecological threshold that separates land and sea. This volume originates from an international design competition launched in 2017 at The Bartlett School of Architecture in London, and a symposium and exhibition which took place that same year in Malaga. The intention of the book is twofold: on the one hand, it presents the shortlisted proposals for the Amphibious Habitats competition, acknowledging their contribution, discursive and designed, to the architectural challenges of dealing with the elusive line between land and sea; on the other hand, the book revisits some of the themes generated by Amphibious Habitats in the form of a selection of essays, as a way to retrospectively assess the outcomes of the competition in light of our present circumstances. Through both of these objectives, the book considers alternative ways in which design can catalyse new approaches towards the ecological dimension of architecture. With the eclectic, surreal, visionary, and at times defying array of Amphibious Habitats collected in this book, we celebrate our relationship with the sea, and attempt to understand its potentials and fragilities for a troubled present and an uncertain future.
The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.