Author: Zachary Coughlan

Life on the Edge: The Archaeologist, the Oil Rig, and the Newfoundlander

Studio: MArch Thesis

Professor: Ozayr Saloojee

Year: 2019-2020

Project Description

This thesis reimagines the UNESCO archeological site of L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland in 2101; one year past the limit of current climate science predictions. In this projective future, the now obsolete infrastructures of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil rigs are moved near-to-shore. The rigs are slowly and incrementally deconstructed, now serving as monumental scrapyards and material salvage pantries for a new working landscape on Newfoundland’s coast. Salvaged components shore up and transform the terrain, community and cultural heritage of the site and its immediate surroundings. This research by design project engages with questions of monumentality, counter-monumentality, and changing heritage through critical and speculative drawings in a back-and-forth between water, landscape and the possibilities of a reconstituted future. The thesis attempts to grapple with the often fraught and complex histories – and futures – of resource extraction and cultural heritage in a changing life on the edge.