Observing the two main lines that define the Albanian Riviera, the coastline and the national SH8 road, we can identify a comb-like structure that connects the hotspots related to both cultural and natural heritage. For several kilometers, these overlap, but where they are separated, a series of transversal links, “the comb’s teeth,” reconnect them. This observation offers a starting point for a formal reflection. If we consider the 61 cm [2 ft.] sea level rise predicted by scientists in 21001 , we must acknowledge that several of those connections will disappear. The two main areas affected are the Himarë plain, a touristic area, and the Borsh valley, important for its agricultural production. This projection offers an outstanding opportunity to reflect on a hypothetical inversion of the roles of land and sea, and to design hybrid solutions for future needs, both functionally and formally. What functions could be transferred from the land – what used to be the land – to the sea, while retaining the innate natural aptitudes of both.
The main idea of the Architecture Competition is to gather speculative architectural proposals addressing the topic of adaptive design strategies for tourism and unpredictable landscape mutations caused by climate change. The challenge is to design a hybrid system capable of responding to different coastline scenarios influenced by sea level rise. The new architectural object must be seen as an opportunity to experiment design solutions on the Albanian Riviera landscape, protecting and enhancing its extraordinary beauty.
The main objective of the design completion is the design of a facility for coastal tourism that also responds to the hypothesized future water sea level rise. The main purpose is to set new strategies for coastal development, in terms of landscape valorization and sustainable tourism promotion. The participants are asked to organize a strategy for the proposed coastal area to guarantee the accessibility and use of the site also in case of sea level rise. The projects must serve both as touristic facilities and, in case of future sea level rise, remain active as selfsufficient structures, and offer an opportunity to reconnect and create a network with the now isolated inland settlements.