For fishermen and their families in Madeira during the 1960s, whales were the primary source of income and a major part of village culture. When processed, they could be sold as valuable industrial, domestic, and commercial products such as scrimshaw, lamp oil, meat for consumption, and ambergris for perfume. Tourism has supplanted whaling and now drives the economy. This project seeks to reconcile the village’s rich narrative of whaling with a new form of tourism. The design of this hotel mimics the processes in which a whale carcass is appropriated and used as a source of light, shelter, perfume, and storytelling, and transforms it into a hybrid interactive landscape for seasonal tourists.
Location: Madeira, Portugal