“A complete and detailed proposal to address the critical issue of coastal erosion”
Project description by jury
In the last decades, an over-exploitation of resources, population growth, intensified tourism, aquaculture, and industrial production have caused a progressive coastal degradation in Thailand which endangers local ecosystems and communities. This project recovers the coastal area of the Northern Gulf of Thailand, through the re-creation of a mangrove forest in Khlong Dan municipality. The design solution consists of three small-scale operations that work in synergy to create a massive intervention in the sea, on the shoreline and in the inland area. Several kilometers offshore, eighty triangular floating breakwaters are placed in the sea to reduce the intensity of waves. Rather than resisting nature with heavy foundations, these light structures do not damage the seabed and can be removed 30 years after installation, once the mangrove reforestation is well established. Along the shoreline, a system of bamboo docks further absorbs the wave energy, traps the sediment needed for the mangrove afforestation while generating a trail to promote ecotourism in the area. A small pavilion is positioned on the shoreline to serve as a clam embryo shelter and observation tower. Made of biodegradable materials, the architecture will progressively decompose over the next 30 years.
This very complete and detailed proposal addresses the critical environmental issue of coastal erosion in Thailand through a convincing multi-layered and multi-scale design. The project shows a careful analysis of the site and a thoughtful integration of environmental technologies into the landscape and architectural design. The LafargeHolcim Awards jury Asia Pacific particularly appreciated the scientific-driven approach where high- and low-tech elements are interspersed, leading ultimately to an almost poetic atmosphere.