Heritage Preservation in a Flooded Future

Anti-Amnesia proposes a series of large-scale, urban interventions to address the problems of sea level rise, frequent flooding, and decreased land area in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition to common flood resilience strategies—like amphibious construction methods and water-sensing technologies—this thesis investigates alternative preservation tactics that aim to protect the city’s physical matter and the collective memory of its residents.

According to reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the frequency of global high-tide flooding could double or triple by 2030 and could be fifteen times as great by 2050. Every year in the Gulf of Thailand, the ground could sink 0.4-0.8 inches while the water could rise 0.16 inches. This means that 40% of Bangkok’s land area could be submerged by 2030 and that more than 10% of Thai residents are currently living on land with a high chance of inundation by 2050. If sea-level rise is inevitable, we must develop ways to coexist with water.

The project features a grid of evenly spaced, circular fortifications that protect different zones across the city. Indifferent to the urban fabric, these defensive walls systematically circumscribe all forms of urban development that have occurred over time—old and new buildings are handled equally. The result is a system that helps a population living under threat of flooding, that preserves a cultural heritage under threat of disappearance, and that unlocks new temporalities defined by environmental uncertainty.
Faculty Advisor:
Cyrus Peñarroyo