On the Water´s Edge James Casebere


After making a whole body of work about Barragán, and his emphasis on sanctuary, solitude and spirituality, (at a time when I felt that was needed with the rise of Trump during the American presidential election) I began to think more about the future than the past. On the Water’s Edge presents a new type of architecture for the future. It may not be entirely practical, but it expresses something emotional in a time of impending global environmental crisis.

So, I began making new spaces and designing new buildings rather than working with existing architecture. The structures became beach houses, changing rooms, and lifeguard stations at the same time -a hybrid form of public and private space. While these structures, depicted in wide open spaces can appear unfinished, it’s because I imagined them to be a place for displaced persons to find safety and refuge on the water’s edge, in a time of environmental disaster.

Now that we are also collectively trying to navigate the global health pandemic, the images pile on with another association in that the small singular structures in space evoke the experience of and need for physical distancing in the current battle with Covid 19.