> Retreat: The Decanted City


> City: Dublin
> Issue: Climate Change


Team Members:

Rebecca-Jane McConnell

Paul Dennison


“Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Climate change is the most fundamental crisis of our lifetime – and a Wicked Problem. A Wicked Problem is a convoluted issue that defies definition, and for which there can be no absolute solution, as any resolve will only spawn further issues.

Considering the future consequences of climate change, resilience resonates perfectly as the ultimate global aspiration. Dublin is a city in danger. It needs to efficiently and successfully respond to climate change. A methodology to solving said problem is to consider it over time alongside fostering the playfulness of design. Architecture is arguably ‘too slow’, and by executing a temporal approach we can attempt to combat such issues.

We propose decanting the city – a temporal architectural response to sea level rise in Dublin. This strategic abandonment will take place over time. As inundation bleeds in, the city is lifted and floated through the River Liffey to higher ground. This moving city will not be permanent or stagnant, rather it will be flexible and open to change. Over time, the city will develop as Phototropic Architecture to consider the environmental setting [light, wind, rain], one day making up an intricate conscious ecosystem. The city will not adapt, but morph into a metropolis that can think with it’s surroundings and everchanging conditions.

We must remember that settlement is a relatively new concept for homosapiens. Around 12,000 years ago, humans were nomadic, until we decided to cultivate crops and colonise. Ultimately, The Decanted City will not solely provoke ingenuities, but it will change how people behave and consume. Capital covetousness will become a thing of the past. People will worship their small catalogue of possessions and focus on a less materialistic quality of life.