Start semester

60 525 The Ocean Garden

Emnenavn på English: 
The Ocean Garden
60 525
Syklus 2
2019 Høst
2019 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Luis Callejas
Janike Kampevold Larsen
Gro Bonesmo
Dale Steven Wiebe

Admission to AHO's master programmes in Landscape Architecture or Architecture

Om emnet

The recent interest in the ocean as a poetic and scientific space for inquiry, calls for an evaluation of how architects and landscape architects address this unfathomable space.

This course will propose landscapes and architectures for marine investigation. The project will be particularly informed by contemporary research techniques that involve the representation of the ocean as space and habitat. As an alternative to a centralized marine research space, this course will suggest a network of dispersed centers for marine investigation. Students will design a horizontal research space that unfolds as something between a garden and a building.

The course builds upon ongoing ocean initiatives in Norway. These include the prime minister’s panel on a sustainable ocean economy, an effort to engage the heads of coastal states throughout the world, and Rev Ocean - a new Norwegian research ship and a “world ocean headquarter”.

We will test the idea of a horizontal and landscape driven marine research facility that speaks to the geographical dispersal of marine research sites, and includes several locations along the Norwegian coast - allowing a network to build and form. The spaces will be located between land and sea, and be should be capable of recreating the different conditions of the fields of study in contemporary ocean research.

The course unfolds as an alternative approach to contemporary proposals for littoral design, which can be roughly described as follows: 

1. Designs inclined to aesthetically abuse or fetishize science or exploration, where form borrows from the studied matter
2. Proposals that borrow form from littoral vernacular architecture (prevalent in Scandinavia)
3. Design interventions that directly interpret ocean forms or adapt metaphors of fluidity into architecture

By using specific landscape media (the manipulation of the ground, live matter and time ) we will search for an alternative aesthetic for littoral design that is informed by science, yet free from maritime vernacular elements, all while remaining informed by the best examples of littoral architecture and landscape architecture around the world. The course work will be informed directly by the landscape practices of sea dwellers, from researchers to fishermen. 

We will be studying an array of littoral design cultures, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean and the influence of seafaring on Greek and Roman thought. Sailor, geographer and historian Pascal Arnaud will be a guest in the studio. 

Furthermore, we will be looking at links between representation, navigation and littoral architecture in the history of Arctic seafaring, industries, and cultures, and compare these traditions with the ones that originated in the Mediterranean. We are interested in the long-standing fascination of architects and landscape architects with the spatial metaphors of the ocean, from the isotropic condition of the sea to the island as a spatial metaphor, to the boat as preeminent heterotopia. 

Landscape Architects and Architects are encouraged to work together; however, it will also be possible to do individual projects that are either buildings or open-air landscapes. The primary challenge will be to test how the program of the research center can adapt to open-air conditions, and the littoral zone specifically.

As in previous courses, this experiment is driven by the ambition of testing the elastic limits of the disciplines of architecture and landscape architecture through the study of shared geographic tropes.


Knowledge about: 

Littoral architecture with focus on the Mediterranean and the Arctic traditions

Landscape architecture and architecture as a productive tool and facilitator in terrestrial and marine research.


How to think and project form through the manipulation of landscape media (live matter, ground and time)

Visual communication and architectural drawing.

General competency:

Students will understand the relationship between form, environment and time.

Student will be part of a contemporary effort to renegotiate architectural approaches to the ocean as a contested, challenged and productive territory..

Students will achieve a general understanding of the nature of marine environmental research.

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

Field trip 

The studio will travel along Norway’s Arctic coastline from Tromsø to Vardø. We will be moving both on land and water, surveying coastlines, doing site-specific sampling and experiments, and looking at ongoing citizen-driven initiatives in the north of Norway.

Muntlig presentasjon-Bestått / ikke bestått Mid term and final review, weighted 50% each
Vurderingsform:Muntlig presentasjon
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Kommentar: Mid term and final review, weighted 50% each