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Architects return to north Suffolk with film about Dunwich sculpture project

PUBLISHED: 10:10 03 June 2011

Anne Niemann and Johannes Ingrisch’s failed project to build a sculpture in the sea off Dunwich. How the project would have looked.

Anne Niemann and Johannes Ingrisch’s failed project to build a sculpture in the sea off Dunwich. How the project would have looked.

Archant

A PAIR of tenacious architects are returning to the county that once rejected them and their controversial vision for a floating landmark.

Anne Niemann and Johannes Ingrisch’s dream of recreating the lost churches of Dunwich in their original locations out at sea hit the rocks when the local community objected to the idea.

The Munich-based architects had hoped to build five steel rod sculptures of the churches at the lost city of Dunwich, which now lies beneath the waves.

But a lack of public support, coupled with numerous logistic problems put paid to the project, for which Ms Niemann and Mr Ingrisch, now both 35, won a share of nearly £250,000, from the East of England Development Agency, to carry out feasibility studies seven years ago.

This month they will return to Suffolk for the premier of a 90-minute documentary film charting their experience and their fight to secure another location for a sculpture to symbolise the impact of coastal erosion.

Lost Town, directed by Jörg Adolph, will be shown at the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts on Thursday, June 16.

The two architects will be at Aldeburgh Cinema for the 3pm screening and will be answering questions about the film.

Mr Ingrisch recalled their time in Dunwich, saying: “At first, we were surprised, because we hadn’t expected this rejection.

“Then we believed for a long time, that we could convince local people by solving problems. But after one year, we understood that Lost Town would not have a future in Dunwich. It was a disappointment, but also the beginning of a new, a more adequate approach.”

The Dunwich feasibility study also concluded that the project would have cost anything from £1million for a single 25m sculpture using less steel piles than originally envisaged, to up to £20m to build all of them.

But, rather than give up, they moved the entire project to Walton-on-the-Naze. Mr Ingrisch said they were still looking for financial support for the scheme.

For more information visit www.losttown.net.

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