The Phenomenon Of Marine Submersion

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Axonometric, GIF, Students

The Phenomenon Of Marine Submersion

Jessica Lelandais et Mathilde Estlimbaum



The sea-level rise is one of the consequences of global warming, via two main processes: the expansion of water (as the oceans warm) and the melting of the terrestrial ice.

Interactive maps of NASA, inform us about the movements of the oceans according to the years.

The project relies on NASA data, including maps where water would reach an additional 2 meters by 2100.

The project does not want to fight against the rising water levels, it seems already so obsolete since the phenomenon is very real.


The project aims at raising awareness of future events: How can we make the phenomenon visible and make it ‘publicly visible’ in its different temporalities?

The architectural proposals originate from the crossing of the different themes studied in the analysis and the reinterpretation of the archetypes observed in situ (French Coast : North, Channel and Atlantic). Indeed, the project was approached by elements coming from the collective unconscious, to return to the elementary forms and to make the link with the emblematic figures of the places visited, like the bunker, the pontoon or other beach hut.

Four interventions are imagined from the vision of the future territory, with marine submersion, and highlights in the present, the invisible or the ‘pre-visible’. The constraints due to the phenomenon then become, by anticipation, architectural opportunities.

The sites observed and selected in the North, Channel and Atlantic allow us to recognize the contexts and thus exploit their potential.

The layout in the ground is different for the four architectures and adapt to each site as well as the transformation of the public pavilion in the future. Through its various devices, more or less radical, it is a question of producing new conditions, disturbing, redefining the landscape. The experimental project leaves the freedom to imagine prospectively how interventions will evolve. The mutability thus allows the architectures not to remain frozen. These inhabited spaces are conducive to observation, contemplation, walking or daydreaming. The different routes and events bring the stroller to appropriate the space. The Marine submersion influences architecture and architecture conditions the movement of the body.

With their differences and their varied contexts, the projects encourage people to become aware of the near future. The future is uncertain as is the way in which the phenomenon of submersion will take shape. Uncertainty, then, is the freedom that projects have seized to create a dreamlike and meaningful whole.



Who influences you graphically?

First, the spirit of the National Superior School of architecture in Versailles brings us to the graphic experience. We influence each other. We appreciate the dreamlike illustrations made in a spirit of collages, it is a search for compositions. Then our research took us to the illustrations of the Kuwait Pavilion at the 15th International Exhibition of Architecture, the Biennale of Venice 2016 (Book: Between East & West: A Golf) especially for the points of view used. But also to agencies like Fala for their collages or Uho with the project Swimming Pool in Porto, or Viar Estudio Arquitectura for their illustrations. Illustrators like Marie Florentine Geoffroy also inspired us.

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How could this more dynamic tool have impacted the exploration of the four interventions?

The word gif questioned us, we had never used it before. But ultimately it is a no-brainer to show the evolution in time. We have designed our images as triptychs where it is possible to see the image as a unit and represent long-term temporalities, cut off from each other. While in the gif, the animation is immediate and the images necessarily superimposed one to the other but equally interesting. Indeed, triptychs present time passing, the landscape in motion, as well as the mutation of architecture, as a distinct exhibition of the progression from the present to the future.

How did this more dynamic tool affect the exploration of the four interventions?

First, the subject dealing with a moving phenomenon on different temporalities, it was essential to use this tool, triptych. It was not this tool that had an impact on the exploration of the four interventions, but rather the temporality, it was this that impacted the architectures. The triptych effect was used only to serve the purpose and to highlight the phenomenon over a longer or shorter term. Representation is at the service of the idea.


You explore the project through numerous images, if you were to condense this to five key images how would you do this?

The exercise is interesting! The selection of 5 images essential to understand the project … the answer is not easy. But very quickly it seemed obvious to make the choice of the first 2 images as an introduction to the subject itself. In the first place, the map of the territory at the present time with the location of the intervention (small blue dot), then the map of the territory in future time (with submersion). And finally, to make understand the evolution of architectures, we select the triptychs. These 3 images come to conclude on the proposed experiments.

What defined the specific view points?

The points of view vary according to the scales, the very large (territorial scale), then that of the architecture (seen from the sky), and finally the scale of the body (collage of atmosphere). The isometric point of view for triptychs was chosen to represent the architecture as a whole. The view of the sky makes it possible to visualize the impact of the landscape in motion, but not to really enter the spaces. The scale of the body came in a second time by the collages, perspectives that allow to interfere in the project. These illustrations show views on the landscape and perceive changes on a smaller scale.


How does the graphic language, textures etc relate to the essence of the project?

The project speaks of the sea submersion and the transformation of landscape and architecture over time. Materials, textures, grain and colors make it possible to highlight the importance of the surrounding landscape in the face of the minimalism of imagined architectures.

How do these help emphasise and raise awareness on the subject matter?

The project speaks of the sea submersion and the transformation of landscape and architecture over time. Materials, textures, grain and colors make it possible to highlight the importance of the surrounding landscape in the face of the minimalism of imagined architectures.

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Both of us are just graduated from the National Superior School of Architecture in Versailles (ENSA-Versailles).

Mathilde Estlimbaum did a literary baccalaureate, then her Bachelor degree at ENSA-Versailles and a Master degree in Mainz, Germany. And Jessica did a baccalaureate of technical architecture, then her Bachelor and Master degree at ENSA-Versailles.






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