Radical ESSEX




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Current Past




‘Flood House’

Flood House is a prototype structure that is both a practical and poetic investigation into the living conditions of a seasonally flooded landscape. It functions as part projected future dwelling and part practical laboratory, monitoring the very particular weather conditions of the Thames Estuary in southeast England.

The design of Flood House references the architecture of the Estuary including fishing sheds, WWII pillboxes, bunkers and Maunsell naval sea forts. It measures 5.5 metres by 7.5 metres, is fabricated in ply and weatherboard, and floats on three steel pontoons.

The structure was moored at various sites in the Estuary in April and May 2016, drifting from mudflat to mudflat as if in a future flooded landscape.

Matthew Butcher, designer and tutor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, has designed Flood House. The project was conceived in collaboration with Dr Rokia Raslan and Dr Jonathon Taylor at the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) and was funded through an award from the UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment Materialisation Grant Programme. Matthew worked with independent curator Jes Fernie and Focal Point Gallery in Southend on a programme of commissions and public events developed in response to the project.

Various sites across the county
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: