building islands : art, design & architecture :new concordia island by Alexander Laing and Francesco Matteo Belfiore

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Sunken cruise ship the Costa Concordia would be transformed into a watery memorial garden in this competition-winning conceptual design by London architecture graduates Alexander Laing and Francesco Matteo Belfiore. The cruise liner fatally struck a rock off the coast of Giglio Island, Italy, on 13 January, causing the deaths of 30 passengers and becoming the largest passenger ship in history to capsize. A year on, the ship is still in place awaiting a £250 million salvage operation. The competition, organised by research platform ICSplat, asked architects and designers to come up with alternative proposals for the site, as part of a strategy to reassess how new landscapes can be developed amongst the remains of a traumatic event. Architectural Association graduates Laing and Belfiore were awarded first place with their proposals, which suggest removing the 35 percent of the boat that rises above the water and adding plants inside the remaining compartments of the former rooms. “The fragment immersed becomes the container of new activities and crossings of the ship among paths, tanks of water and surfaces planted,” explain the designers. Two floating pathways would lead out across the water to create a route for visitors from the coast of the island to the surface of the memorial. photos & text via dezeen

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