Åstol: 250 years and beyond
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Architecture and urban design (MPARC), MSc
Communities will be something that constantly changes with the larger affecting context around itself. Throughout the test of time, communities changes and the citizens within it finds new ways to go forward, develop and identify themselves among. So is also the case for many Swedish coastal villages around the country, suffering from depopulation as globalization has entered the modern era. The rise and possible death of those small communities does also bring multiple significant elements with it, ending a period of sub-cultural identities that position regional cultures as a counterweight among international ones around the globe. This thesis aims to keep one of those remote identities active as a cornerstone in the wider network of cultural relationships. The chosen site for this work is the island of Åstol that can be experienced as a remote place even with its close location to Gothenburg, some 30 kilometres from the regional centre. Emerging as harsh formations from the rough sea of Skagerrak, this island has been left to nature with its fishing dedicated community, forming its unique identity for more than 250 years. Through all these years, the fishing industry has been its epicentre, providing the citizens with trading goods - occupation - money - and purpose. However, due to the inevitable decline in profitability, this industry has vanished and society is left to write a new chapter of its history, to find a new purpose and life by and off the constantly surrounding sea. Åstol belongs to a part of the archipelago with strong bath culture, widely recognized by many visitors during the summer. This project will try to build qualities upon the pre-existing culture to rediscover that previously thriving society, finding new goods - occupation - money and purpose to further establish its community the upcoming 250 years. The bath combined with sub-functions will presumably offer ways to awaken a year-round active community in a sustainable way, where values for both citizens and visitors are fulfilled - generating an everyday living room for the people of Åstol and their visitors to meet through.