John Palmesino, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog

In October 2012 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union starting a range of controversies. The interconnection of industrial structures, supply chains, markets, financial circuits, policies, strategies and protocols of the European project is a complex set of transformations that generate a series of oscillations and instabilities across the entire range of life in Europe and well beyond. The architecture of the European project, with its entangled connections between changing polities and material spaces, is at the centre of Diploma 4 investigations. 

We think of this as a complex system of construction of inhabited space over time. The reorganisation of the protocols and procedures of the European project is investigated as a torque force – a spin that gathers multiple currents to reshape and rearrange the material spaces of the European peninsula. What emerges is an image of a space in complex transformation, a series of ambivalent territories and multiple populations and agents operating over wide sets of relationships, both above and beneath the state.

A focus on the coast of Europe enables us to intercept of these transformations where they become more intense and visible. The shifting polities of the European project are reorganised, funnelled and accelerated by the many circulations that characterise the seas and shores of the peninsula. Non-spaced transformations set the tone for the projects of Diploma 4: extensions of global supply chain routes; infrastructural connections; rapid urbanisation processes; new erosion patterns and rearrangement of sedimentation processes; technology transfer hubs and secluded research and development sites; migratory shipping lines and detention centres; and rearrangement of surveillance and measurement.The projects present a range of diverging transformations and multi-directed thrusts. Using architecture as both the object and method of investigation reveals a kaleidoscope of divergent ways for changing the European project through its  many contradictions, abrupt stops, rapid accelerations or the concomitant stagnation and consolidation of patterns of inhabitation. How can architecture enter radical negotiations to rethink a project for the remodernisation of the coast of Europe?


Unit Tutors

John Palmesino

Ann-Sofi Rönnskog


Special thanks to

Bruno Latour


Thanks to

Nabil Ahmed

Carlos Villanueva Brandt

Lindsay Bremner

Giles Bruce

Javier Castañón

Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange

Yi-Jen Chen

Kate Davies

Blake Fisher

David Hellström

Helena Huws

Tom Fox

Ranulph Glanville

Niko Japaridze

Tobias Klein

Tyen Masten

Natasha Sandmeier

Kelly Shannon

Andrew Yau

Adora Shahriman

Marginalia: Hinterland Architecture

Hinterland is a backcountry region refering to a coastal and inland tribitury regions that serves the port and the city. I am particularly looking at the port of Le havre, a gateway of global networks through maritime. In the case of Le Havre, the development is concentrated on the inland ports along Seine River as a development corridor. In relation to these development, hinterland is currently viewed either hidden or peripheral.

The intention of the project is to reconceptualize Hinterland as an architecture. By looking hinterland as one space, it reveals architectural transformational patterns of multiple territories that is under the paradox of ‘pure becoming’, a co-existence of growth and decay such as addition and abandonment of buildings as well as the land substitution of predominant regimes over the decline ones.

With the effort to reterritorialize the hinterland to a new set of datum is by proposing hinterland architecture as Marginalia. Margins set as a device to structuralize hinterland space of multiple territories of constant change. These margins become a bonding element between these co-exists regimes in which lies the constant tension and friction among them. As each territory has its own objectives and practices, patterns of growth and decay, the margin becomes the space of operation. These margins are driven by distinctive architectural territories that includes landform, habitation, settlements and building structures.