Robson Street Memorial to Future Disasters


Christen Oakes

LARC 501

Robson Street Memorial to Future Disasters responds to the speculation that at some point the site, 1401 Robson Street, will be disturbed by human-caused climate change. It memorializes disasters yet unseen: earthquakes, erosion, and flooding. A simple “cut” in the existing topography creates a canyon-like formation that feels claustrophobic and sublime. Rammed-earth walls lining the canyon erode at different rates than the surrounding site. Seasonally, the canyon fills and empties with water, periodically limiting access. By responding to these destructive processes over multiple temporal scales and resulting in eventual complete decay, the memorial’s ephemeral quality mirrors the precariousness of life as we know it. One day, perhaps due to the same processes that destroy 1401 Robson Street, this too will end.