Matthew Butcher's Flood House



Climate change is making itself more and more visible. Humans and animals are increasingly feeling the repercussions of this global catastrophe. The rising oceans are already swallowing up coastal areas, and even entire islands. Flood House by Matthew Butcher is a project that uses design to engage with these issues in a poetic way, it sits in that grey area between the practical and the imaginative. Matthew Butcher collaborated on this project with Dr Rokia Raslan and Dr Jonathan Taylor, at the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering. His design consists of a structure erected upon a pontoon. The Flood House is moored in various locations across the Thames Estuary in southeast England over April and May. This area is prone to flooding, which has increased in recent years due to rising sea levels. The structure, designed to reflect the nautical buildings around the Estuary, is an asymmetric conflation of architectural references, settled into a well-balanced balanced form. Nonetheless, it would be a curious sight to see for anyone who doesn't know about the project. Flood House is topped with a weathervane by artist Ruth Ewan, that spells out the word ‘level’ in a mirrored letters, a nice touch.

The floating structure comes with its own website, where you can find out its present location and the tidal and weather information of it's temporary home. Check it out for more information on the project. A number of public events are in development around this work, so keep tabs on updates if you live nearby. Flood House is a timely meditation upon the increasing need to come up with solutions that will allow us to inhabit the Earth of rising waters. It is part of Radical Essex, a larger series of projects and events that explore radicality in the history of Essex. More information about the programme here.

Photography by Brotherton-Lock.