Offshore Concourse: New ground for a landless urbanism
Epley, Meredith Elizabeth
Master of Architecture
'Offshore Concourse' is an urban proposal for a response to changing ecological, economic and political conditions in Alaska and the Arctic. Since 2007, the Northwest Passage has been navigable without need of an icebreaker. As climate change rapidly redraws the world's coastlines, it poses both opportunities and challenges for global trade: melting ice caps yield new trade routes, markets and resources, but thawing permafrost renders the land an unstable ground upon which to build emerging economies. Sited on the open ocean near the Bering Strait, the Offshore Concourse presents a new model of flexible, dynamic urbanism. The port is re-envisioned as a reconfigurable platform for both trade and occupation: an aggregation of floating modules that can move, expand and submerge in response to economic demands and climatic conditions. Operating as a point of exchange, the Concourse stages a unique confluence of goods, users and natural phenomena.
Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning; Sociology; Arts