Archiving Jurassic Coast | Isle of Portland, UK | Unit 21 | 2022

Sited on the Jurassic Coast, this project highlights the paradox of conserving an eroding coast. The Jurassic Coast, the only natural heritage site in the UK is a geomorphological landscape encompassing 180 million years of geological history. The coastline contains multiple fossil localities from the Mesozoic era. The Jurassic Coast acts as a natural archive preserving ancient geological data through fossils. This project attempts to archive the coast through speculative fossil data.

The fossil data is used as a positive volume allowing the architecture to mould into the negative space mimicking the coastal processes. The architecture is developed using the logic of fossil taxonomies to create spaces with embedded information. By creating a spatial formation with fossilised information, the architecture replaces the Jurassic Coast as an archive for stored data. As the coastline recedes, Jurassic Coast is fossilized into the architecture.

Mapping Speculative Fossil Data

The modelling of the coast utilises a set of speculative fossil data based on the fossils documented in the Jurassic Coast Trust archive. The coast is populated by the set of fossil data available for its respective geological layer.

Editing the Jurassic Coast

The logic of the design process utilises computation to generate a positive volume. Mimicking the process of fossilisation the architecture moulds into the negative space. The complexity of each space can be decided by specifying the grid used.

Curating the Plan

The spatial hierarchy is determined by its respective grid. The grids are scaled, rotated and curated to form the desired space. The fossil taxonomy influences the number and type of material embedded within the space.