Royal College of Art
Both the intergovernmental panel of climate change and the Met Office Hadley Centre predict a temperature rise of between 1.8-5.8 degrees in the next millennium.
A four degree world will result in the re-organization of the planet with Canada and Russia becoming the main food producers; coastlines are re-drawn and the beginnings of mass desertification around the equator set off migration north. Within Britain some say the commonwealth has finally come home.
Humanity must begin to ask how such environmental change, rather than being seen as a threat, is in fact a generator to reconfigure our cities and create new altered urban models.
House in Chelsea. “When the earth was last four degrees warmer, there was no ice at either pole.” © James Wignall.
The River Thames 2150. © James Wignall.
The Romans chose their position along the edge of the Thames where it was narrow enough to cross, but vitally deep enough for the largest sea going ships of the time; London thrived and became the centre of trade for the entire Roman Empire.
Since then the Thames has changed and Victoria’s Embankment was able to control and alter nature’s course. As man put pressure on nature, nature began to fight back and eventually overpowered Victoria’s imposition.
The depth of the River Thames is now similar to that of the Panama Canal allowing the largest ships on the planet back into the centre of London. Through the rising water and engulfing of nature the state infrastructures are washed out of London’s urban fabric. Centres that people have always traditionally travelled to now have this remarkable ability to move themselves. Wherever infrastructure is needed it can now go.
Shipping routes London 2100. The depth of the River Thames is now similar to that of the Panama Canal allowing the largest ships on the planet back into the centre of London. © James Wignall.
Inverted Infrastructure Through the rising water the state infrastructures are washed out of London’s urban fabric and float above the old city. © James Wignall.
Man’s obsession with the grandest, tallest, most indulgent creations have led to icons of absurdity, energy doomed products of a wasteful era. These icons shall fall within a future, energy conscious society; a metaphor for a new type of architecture, a new type of city.
The fallen icons, former vertical typologies have become linear. London’s skyline is now read from Google Earth. The fallen skyline is able to bridge the water and connect the moving
infrastructures to London’s dry urban fabric. The starchitects’ skyscrapers have become habitable bridges which, not only allow London to survive in the flooded world, but in fact thrive under the new environmental conditions.
The Fallen Icon. Man’s obsession with the grandest, tallest, most indulgent creations have led to icons of absurdity, energy doomed products of a wasteful era. These icons shall fall within a future, energy conscious society. © James Wignall.
As the water rises and engulfs more of the city, the groundscrapers continue to grow and the urban dream of a continuous linear city is finally fulfilled.
The fallen Icon. © James Wignall.
The continuous city. © James Wignall.
Royal College of Art
grew up in the North of England starting out at a catholic school in Yorkshire. He then went on to train in Architecture at The Royal College of Art, The University of New South Wales, and The University of Nottingham. His creative interest lies in combining the three disciplines of Architecture, Design, and Sculpture. His primary focus is on materials, both natural and man-made, newly invented and recycled. He is also interested in mixing traditional craftsmanship with modern technologies, and try to produce pieces of great originality and beauty through thoughtful and inventive experimentation and manipulation of a wide variety of materials, from stained glass to cast iron. He has established the design studio Wignall&Moore, which has just had its first US commission in New Hampshire. He aims to take his creative understanding of materials and space into works of a grander scale and around the world.