Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, coastlines everywhere are still rising. Melting polar ice-caps continue to bring elevated water levels and along with it a future where more and more cities are expected to be submerged.
Architects, urban planners and designers are rising to the challenge of flooding and ushering in diverse solutions to the problem of the tide in different parts of the world. The proposals below offer some hope for the future of coastal cities. Check out the solutions presented…which do you prefer?
Flood Plain House (Solar-Powered)
Thailand’s 2014 Solar Decathlon entry from King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thonburi (KMUTT) fuses Thai traditional wisdom with more contemporary technology to create an adaptive House. Built from sustainable locally-sourced materials, modular and repeatable, this house is testimony to people wanting to live as a sustainable community.
CTA Floating House
UK’s underused waterways are offered a residential solution. The CTA ‘Floating House’ is a lightweight structure that can be stabilized for flood plains or used as a free-floating houseboat. Its footprint is approximately 46′ x 15′ (16 x 5 M). This design has generously been made available for open source download.
Venice’s Rising Waters
Venice has come close to its end on a number of occasions! Here, Act_Romegialli has designed the San Giobbe +160 project. They have created a concrete basin at the entrance of their studio to hold overflow waters (and in such style). This is surely cheaper than their 7 billion dollar flood gate in existence.
The Big Apple is responding to its flooding problems via a series of infrastructural initiatives. Following the largest design competition in US history (named ‘Rebuild by Design’) authorization has been given for a $335m ‘flood barrier’ (Manhattan’s Lower East Side) a $60m ‘living breakwater’ (Staten Island’s South Shore) and a $230m ‘resiliency district’ (Hoboken, New Jersey).
Denmark has responded to flooding with a rainwater collection system at Rabalder Park in Roskilde. The city called upon the architectural firm Nordarch to creatively transform the area into a dual purpose recreational area and rainwater reservoir. An intelligent and attractive urban solution.
A Transformable House
This adaptive house named ‘Motus’ adjusts to any local weather patterns. Currently at concept stage, solar panels power ‘movable parts’ to offer flexible control over sunlight and heat gain and. Sensors placed around the house detect internal temperatures and shift the moveable parts of the house accordingly to achieve thermal comfort.
Dutch design studio ‘Waterstudio.nl’ is at the vanguard of floating architecture. Their mission has been to assist all manner of communities against rising sea levels. Their holistic installations offer everything from additional housing and sewage treatment, to arable land to grow crops for residents. All this is done while residents are raised above perilous waters. This proposal won the prestigious “Architecture & Sea Level Rise” Award 2012 from the Jacques Rougerie Foundation.
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