Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism


Center for Studies
in Architecture and Urbanism

Fishing Architecture

Start Year

2022 (On going)


60 months

Principal Investigator

André Carinha Tavares

Funding Entity

European Research Council (ERC)

Consolidator Grant under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme

Funding Value

2.001.468,00 euros

Project Reference


Proposing Institution


Social Networks



To what extent can fish produce architecture? This project sets out to trace a socioecological history of North Atlantic architecture in relation to fisheries, elucidating the relationships between marine environments and terrestrial landscapes and assessing the ecological impact of fishing constructions and the natural resources they depend upon. 

Fishing Architecture covers a broad spectrum in terms of both geography and time, a choice that was made to avoid deterministic analysis and engage with transnational phenomena. Thus, the focus is on the North Atlantic—its shores housing diverse architectural cultures and its waters home to a wealth of fish species—and follows a time frame that runs from the industrialization of fisheries in the early 19th century to the full globalization of the industry at the end of the 20th. 

The extant scholarship on marine ecology, fisheries, and fishing communities includes extensive research on fish populations, navigation systems, technology, bioeconomics, architecture, and cultural practices. Yet, comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of the field is hindered by its own specialization. 

Facing the impending challenges of the environmental predicament, this project will use the material history of architecture as a powerful tool for advancing interdisciplinary research and, along with it, our understanding of the ecological impacts of human activity. The assessment will be organized along five analytical axes: (1) marine ecosystems; (2) fishing technology; (3) food processing; (4) politics; and (5) consumption habits, effectively avoiding the conventional architectural approach to understanding the built environment. This strategy allows us to identify critical knowledge gaps to be worked on and, most significantly, fosters a fresh perspective on construction in which fishing landscapes and buildings.


André Carinha Tavares (Investigador Responsável)
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Paul Montgomery
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Rafael Sousa Santos
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Alice Nouvet
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto


Elsa Froufe
CIIMAR University of Porto, Portugal

Filipe Castro
CIIMAR University of Porto, Portugal

Loren McClenachan
University of Victoria, Canada

Karl Otto Ellefsen
The Oslo School of Architecture, Norway

Matthew Gollock
London Zoological Society, England

Nancy Couling
Bergen School of Architecture/ETH Zurich, Norway/Switzerland