Mark Craven, Rowan Turkington, Laura Cooke, Hayden Grindell, Raphaela Rose



The rising sea levels associated with climate change will have the largest effect on the nations of this world least equipped to handle such a problem. The sea levels are predicted to rise anywhere from 300-2000mm by 2100 . The Marshal Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, are an assortment of inhabited and uninhabited islands and atolls, with an average height above sea level of 2000mm. The estimated 64,000 inhabitants of the Marshal Islands have a finite future on their islands, as most will be uninhabitable by the end of the century. Though limited in usable land, the nation does have a large expanse of ocean under their jurisdiction.
The Typhoon Nuclear Submarine, remnant of the cold war, would initially collect and store the information and nature of the islands, while they still exist, or as they are poised to be lost. The Sub would then become the centre of government and point of control for the national waters. There is money to be gained in controlling the national waters, money that could assist those displaced.

The Nation of the Marshall Islands has a tumultuous history with nuclear weaponry. Between 1946 and 1958 the Northern Islands and Atolls were used as a nuclear test bed for the US. These tests displaced many peoples and the subsequent nuclear fallout destroyed much of the nations meagre usable land. There is something hauntingly beautiful about a device that destroyed so much being implemented to prolong the nation of the Marshall Islands and its cultures.

Programmatically the submarine design is split into three, a submarine base housing the culture, a tower encompassing the living, working administrative aspects, and the deck surface of the sub being used for recreation and cultivation. The culture is retained and on continual display through the collection of artifacts and data, and preservation of native flora and fauna. As the active nuclear reactor in the stern is unfit for human occupation, it will act as a visual greenhouse displaying the natural ecology that survived previous nuclear contamination. The bow houses the artifacts and oceanographic research facilities. The base of the tower is a cultural hub blurring into the domestic core above, with the administrative and governing functions being housed at the apex.  The framework of the tower anticipates future growth, with the ability to add levels and programmes as required. The deck of the sub acts as a conduit between the built forms (sub and tower) and the landscape/ seascape surrounding it. The design proposes manipulating the external skin of the sub to house areas of cultivation, recreation and walkways. These impositions would extend into the sub at key areas bringing the outside in and vice versa.

There is a rich juxtaposition within the design. Initially what is proposed is a somewhat clean deserted sub containing a diluted internal programme, however there exists an active nation outside it. As time progresses the sub becomes more and more utilised and part of the landscape/ seascape while the physical nation is eaten away by the sea.

In time the sub could become a convoluted tourist attraction , but this is not a focus or main purpose of the design. Rather the project aims to encapsulate what will be lost and extend what exists into a time capsule of culture ecology and information. The typhoon class sub does not solve the problem of climate change or of displaced peoples, rather it creates a saturated focal point for an eroding ecology and society, a way to artificially extend the life of a nation. The typhoon class submersible is a harbinger for climate change.