Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Without drive-by commentary, here is Benedetta Gargiulo's project statement in its entirety:
Aquaculture is an urban landscape that playfully explores and re-imagines industrial food production, inviting visitors to examine the complex interrelationships between the private consumption and mass production of fresh fish.
Formed as a sinuous pedestrian network extending along the sides of Regent's Canal, its central structural element is water. Aquaculture is characterized by continuous waterfalls and levelled terraces, which co-exist with the topography of Central London. It is a fish-farm that doubles as an innovative architectural body, providing a network of bridges, multi-level pathways and accessible connections across the riverbanks, while contemporaneously purifying and treating the canal's water. The cultivated fishes are treated, filleted, and packaged on-site for instant consumption or for take away.
The visitors participate in the entire industrial process whilst experiencing an ‘Aqua Bridge’ or entering the ‘Aqua Tunnel’ by glancing at the mackerel and cod production lines from the sushi bar or simply by crossing and walking along the canal.
But we do want to say that we wanted to post this project because of that beautiful ribbed structure, a possible nod to the nave of St. Paul's, the iron truss roof of Saint Pancras or the de-fleshed carcass of aquacultured mackerels. Of course, the referent could be something else or altogether nonexistent. Perhaps it's a single computational iteration chosen with quasi-randomness amongst many. Or not.
In any case, this well-defined shell provides a nice counterpoint to the jumble of bridges, access ramps, tunnels and conveyor belts — all recoiling within and without, jutting in and out, directing fishes, fishmongers, diners and pedestrians here to there and vice versa.