When Christophe Barlieb decided to participate in the international European competition for young architects 'Europan 10' in 2009, he chose the Norwegian site of the island of Vardo not only for its serenity and beauty but also because he believed it encapsulated global change on the outer fringes of Europe. The result was an innovative housing concept which takes up the environmental challenges and its social implications.
Vardo's Arks is a vision designed to address the current harbor situation on the island. It sets a possible course for future development within the context of Global Warming and the effects greenhouse gases are having on the northern regions of the planet.
Christophe Barlieb proposed to recycle the current structures along the existing waterfront and reconfigure them into small floating arks, capable of accommodating 2-4 families. Each ark has an outdoor living room typically known as the street in modern European towns. This new room is meant to help redefine the little house and garden typology. The living rooms become possible links between the arks and define new spaces for playing and socializing.
The arks can be combined to form bridges connecting one side of the harbor to the other to form individual clusters, intimate urban fabrics or THE VARDO ARK; a type of mothership which could in the worst case scenario be all that is left of Vardo. We propose to use similar formations to the palsas found on the mainland for smaller flotation devices to store freshwater for the surrounding arks. We envisage similar resource storage facilities within the individual arks to preserve the autonomous characteristic of the system.