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Laatste Waterwoning Stadswerven aangekomen

DORDRECHT – Eind vorige week is de waterwoning van de familie Dolman op Stadswerven aangekomen. Daarmee zijn de waterwoningen op Stadswerven compleet. De waterwoning is in Diemen gebouwd en na een vaartocht via het Amsterdam Rijnkanaal, de Lek en de Noord op zijn plek gevaren.

In 2015 kocht de familie Dolman een waterkavel op Stadswerven. “Eind 2015, begin 2016 hebben we opdracht gegeven voor de bouw van onze woning en we dachten dat hij begin dit jaar klaar zou zijn. Het is dus al met al een lange rit geweest”, aldus de heer Dolman. “De reden waarom wij hebben gekozen voor een waterwoning heeft te maken met mijn jeugd. Mijn vader was bedrijfsleider bij een grote waterbouwer. Het was toen heel gewoon dat medewerkers van het bedrijf op een ark woonden en zo met de werken mee verhuisden. Zo zijn wij ook in Dordrecht terecht gekomen.” Daarnaast zeilen de heer Dolman en zijn vrouw graag en zijn het leven op het water dus gewend. De keuze voor een waterwoning op Stadswerven was vanzelfsprekend voor hen.

De waterwoning van de familie Dolman is een ontwerp van architect Koen Olthuis van het bureau “Waterstudio”. Het huis is ontworpen in de geest van de industriële geschiedenis van Stadswerven en de opbouw is daarom van Cortenstaal.

Afbeelding bij nieuwsitem 'Laatste Waterwoning Stadswerven aangekomen'

Schwimmstädte und Hochhauswälder

Der steigende Meeresspiegel, Starkregen und Stürme setzen den Städten zu. Deshalb türfteln Planer Planer rund um die Welt daran, sie für den Klimawandel zu wappnen.

Bewegen sich mit den Gezeiten: Schwimmende Häuser im niederländischen Ijburg.

Das Wasser kommt. Das ist mehr als eine Prognose, es ist Gewissheit. Vielen Stadtplanern bereitet das Sorgen. Denn Wasser ist anders als Hitze. Es breitet sich in den Städten nicht langsam über Tage und Wochen aus, sondern bricht als Urgewalt über sie herein. Künftig wird die Häufigkeit und Heftigkeit zunehmen, mit der Unwetter, Starkregen oder Sturmfluten sich über Städte ergießen. Dann könnte es in drei Vierteln aller wachsenden Megametropolen für kurze Zeit „Land unter“ heißen, denn sie liegen in Deltagebieten großer Flüsse. Doch auch Städte, die von viel Land umgeben sind wie viele deutsche, sollten sich nicht auf der trockenen Seite fühlen: Die jährlichen Schäden durch Starkregen und Überflutung sind hierzulande durchschnittlich doppelt so hoch wie jene durch Flusshochwasser oder Sturmfluten, heißt es beim Bundesverband der Versicherungswirtschaft. Berlin kann das bezeugen, nachdem es 2017 mehrmals nach Gewitterregengüssen baden ging. Wenn sich nun das Extremwetter nicht aufhalten lässt, wie macht man Städte dann hitzefest und regenresistent? Das ist die spannendste Frage, an der Architekten und Stadtplaner arbeiten.

Bevor das Wasser kommt, gehen wir zu ihm – lautet der bisher revolutionärste Ansatz, der von holländischen Planern stammt. Sie bauen aufs Wasser und tüfteln daran, wie man ganze Städte schwimmen lassen kann. Das klingt visionär, aber um ehrlich zu sein: Das ist in den Niederlanden nichts Neues. Gott erschuf zwar die Welt, sagt man dort, aber die Niederlande seien von den Holländern selbst erschaffen worden. Schon vor Jahrhunderten bauten sie riesige Kanalnetze und Pumpensysteme, angetrieben von Windmühlen. Damit legten sie Landmassen und Überschwemmungsgebiete trocken, die Polderflächen. Rund ein Viertel des Landes liegt unterhalb des Meeresspiegels. Genau das könnte zum Verhängnis werden, wenn der Meeresspiegel steigt. Dann staut sich dort nicht mal für ein paar Stunden oder Tage das Wasser, sondern ganze Landstriche drohen dauerhaft zu verschwinden. Deshalb bereiteten sich die Niederlande schon seit Jahren darauf vor, dass das Wasser kommt.

Bisher baute man Dämme und Abschlussdeiche, viel cleverer aber sei es, findet Architekt Koen Olthuis, einfach schwimmende Häuser zu bauen. Wenn Gebäude auf dem Wasser treiben, kann ihnen auch ein schwankender Wasserstand nichts anhaben. Zudem gewinnen wachsende Metropolen wie Amsterdam und Rotterdam neue Wohnflächen. Auch Paris will jetzt einzelne Gebäude auf die Seine setzen, und London überlegt, seine Regierung während des Umbaus der Houses of Parliament in einem schwimmenden Saal auf der Themse unterzubringen.

Inzwischen setzen Architekturbüros nicht nur einzelne Häuser auf Seenplatten und Flüsse, sondern ganze Stadtviertel mitten ins Meer. Ins IJmeer zum Beispiel, über das Amsterdam indirekt mit der Nordsee verbunden ist. Dort treiben die „floating houses“ von IJburg vom Büro Marlies Rohmer seit 2011 vor sich hin: sechzig Häuser je Hektar, die auf Pontons stehen und sich mit den Gezeiten heben und senken. Koen Olthuis entwickelt mit seiner Firma Waterstudio schwimmende Villen, Ferienanlagen und Quartiere rund um den Globus. So ließen sich auch Überflutungsregionen wie Bangladesch mit Klassenzimmern oder Krankenstationen ausstatten, die dem Wasser standhalten.

These floating buildings are made from thousands of plastic bottles that can withstand flooding

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerablecountries in the world when it comes to flooding, storms, and impact from sea level rise.

In 2016, Bangladesh experienced four cyclones – a record number in the country’s recent history. And by 2050, sea level rise could inundate 17% of its land and displace up to 18 million people in Bangladesh,according to Atiq Rahman, the nation’s leading climate scientist.

Extreme weather events already flood many homes, schools, and commercial buildings every year.

An Amsterdam-based architecture firm called Waterstudio has come up with one possible solution: floating structures that can withstand storms.

Waterstudio will deliver five of these structures, called City Apps, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in late November.

Check out the project below.

Waterstudio will soon premiere five City Apps in Korail, a low-income community in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They are portable and can move to different neighborhoods.

Foto: A City App classroom in Amsterdam, Netherlands. source Waterstudio

City Apps can be customized for several types of uses, including classrooms, water filtration systems, medical clinics, or homes.


During the day, one structure will be a classroom featuring 20 tablet workstations and two teaching screens. In the evening, it will be used as an internet cafe.

Foto: A City App classroom in Amsterdam, Netherlands. source Waterstudio

The other four units will consist of a community kitchen, a facility with a public restroom and shower, and another with a back-up generator for electricity. The units are powered by solar panels located on the roofs.

Foto: A City App classroom in Amsterdam, Netherlands. source Waterstudio

The units will be buoyed to the sea floor, and move up and down as water levels rise, helping them withstand storms. They’re designed to be air-tight to reduce the risk of flooding.

Foto: source Waterstudio

The City Apps, which cost $53,000, were built in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Waterstduio CEO Koen Olthius told Business Insider.

Foto: source Waterstudio

Each foundation is made of wooden pallets, wire, and thousands of recycled plastic bottles, which allow the structures to float.

Foto: source Waterstudio

Founded in 2003, Waterstudio is known for its floating structures. It has constructed more than 200 buildings on water around the world, including these floating villas for a neighborhood called IJburg in Amsterdam, Netherlands:

Foto: source Waterstudio

Olthius hopes the City App project will provide valuable resources to neighborhoods in developing nations, especially ones threatened by climate change.

Foto: source Waterstudio

Waterstudio is working with local developers on the project in case they want to build more units.


“Some people live very close to the water — in vulnerable locations,” he said. “They can use these structures to improve their neighborhoods.”

Foto: source Waterstudio

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Flytende byer kan løse plassmangel og klimakrise. Slik tenker arkitektene

De siste årene har et prosjekt i Fransk Polynesia fått mye oppmerksomhet. Gründere fra California ønsket å bygge en flytende øy i smult farvann som skulle fungere som en egen stat med null skatt. Planene førte til stor kritikk og Fransk Polynesia har avsluttet samarbeidet.

Men visjonene bak prosjektforslaget, har fått flere interessert i selve konseptet flytende byer.

Bakgrunnen er plassmangel i store byer og klimaendringer som truer lavtliggende bebyggelse. Stigning av havnivået vil ikke bare ramme øyene i Stillehavet, men også storbyer som Bangkok i Thailand.

Kan bli realitet om ti år

Den nederlandske arkitekten Koen Olthuis, administrerende direktør i Waterstudio er misjonær for å ta i bruk sjøen som tomt. Selskapet har tegnet en rekke boliger på kanaler og innsjøer i Nederland. Nå ønsker han å bygge ut større områder på havet, både flytende og i form av høye boligtårn.

– Det er ikke snakk om å bygge gigantiske byer midt på havet. De første flytende byene blir hybridbyer der deler av byen er på fastlandet og nye fasiliteter legges på sjøen, sa han på en workshop som Equinor arrangerte tidligere i år.

Øyvind Hellan, forskningsdirektør i SINTEF Ocean AS, tror de første flytende bydelene vil bli bygd i løpet av neste tiår, mest sannsynlig i Asia.

– Det å bygge flytende byer er innenfor det vi kan få til som ingeniører, med teknologien vi har i dag. Men det må utvikles løsninger som lar seg gjennomføre i praksis og som er regningssvarende, sier han. Forskere ved SINTEF og NTNU har lenge jobbet med flytende konstruksjoner til havs, og de siste årene også med konstruksjoner for flytende byer.

Sea tree: Flytende habitat for fugler, bier og smådyr i byer med liten plass til parker.

Stedene som ligger til rette for flytende byer ligger i et belte mellom fem grader nord for ekvator og fem grader sør for ekvator. I tillegg er deler av Middelhavet og Persiagulfen egnet. Og utenfor byer der det er smult farvann.

Equinor leter etter nye forretningsområder

Flytende byer har også Equinor begynt å snuse på. I London sitter en gruppe ansatte som skal komme opp med nye forretningsideer med utgangspunkt i Equinors lange offshore-erfaring. i et halvt år har de sett nærmere på flytende byer.

– Da jeg hørte om flytende byer, tenkte jeg det hørtes ut helt vilt ut og noe langt inn i fremtiden. Men da vi så nærmere på dette, lærte vi at det er en global utvikling på dette området, spesielt i land som mangler plass, sier Margaret Mistry, prosjektleder for strategi og innovasjon i Equinor Innovation Team i London.

For å finne ut om dette var interessant for Equinor, har selskapet gjennomført tre workshoper med arkitekter, ingeniører, byutviklere, folk med visjonære tanker om flytende byer og norske industriselskaper. I tillegg holdt de et åpen seminar om flytende byer på årets ONS.

– Vi lærte mye og er interessert i å gå videre med noen ideer der Equinor kan spille en rolle i fremtiden, sier Mistry.

Et av områdene de skal se nærmere på er gjenbruk av infrastrukturen i Nordsjøen for å skape nye verdier når feltene er tømt. Dette blir på svært langt sikt.

En annen idé er å bruke Equinors erfaring med flytende havvind til å vise hvordan flytende byer kan forsynes med energi.

Offshore: Margaret Mistry i Equinor Innovation Team ser forreningsideer i flytende byer.

Neste trinn i prosessen er et seminar om flytende byer i forbindelse med konferansen og utstillingen Evolve Arena i desember. Først neste år vil det bli klart hva Equinors rolle i utviklingen av flytende byer vil bli.

– Vi er foreløpig langt fra å ha svaret på hva som kan bli vår forretningsmodell. I denne omgangen handler dette mye om å utvide økosystemet og nettverket, sier Mistry.

Singapore leter etter mer tomteplass

I Singapore bor og arbeider fem millioner innbyggere og en million gjestearbeidere på et landområde ikke større enn Oslo, Asker og Bærum til sammen. Plass er mangelvare. Det har myndighetene til nå løst ved å bygge oppover, ned i undergrunnen og ved å fylle ut sjøen med sand og stein. Men nå begynner nabolandene å si nei til mer utfylling og mange områder i sjøen er for dype til å fylle ut. Nå har øystaten visjoner om å ta i bruk havoverflaten. Her har Sintef fått en viktig rolle.

Sprengt: Singapore har bygget i høyden og under bakken. Foto: Flickr

Forskerne i Trondheim fikk for to år siden et prosjekt der de sammen med forskere og myndigheter i Singapore skal utvikle nye tomter for Singapore med effektiv utnyttelse av sjøarealer og flytende konstruksjoner. Det treårige prosjektet er finansiert med forskningsmidler fra Singapore og støtte fra JTC, som er en offentlig etat med ansvar for utvikling av områder for industri og næringsliv i Singapore.

– I Singapore blir Norge sett på som en interessant samarbeidspartner basert på norsk offshoreteknologi, norsk betongteknologi og norsk kompetanse innen marine operasjoner, sier Hellan.

Fra fjellhaller til flytende konstruksjoner

At Sintef fikk et slikt prosjekt skyldes likevel først og fremst tidligere prosjekter med å utnytte fjellet under Singapore. Over en periode på mer enn 10 år har Sintef sammen med Multiconsult og den lokale partneren Tritech, blant annet vært med på å planlegge og lede et prosjekt med bygging av store undersjøiske fjellhaller for lagring av olje.

Hallen er plassert under havnebassenget i Singapore og med adgang via sjakter fra Jurong Island som er et tidligere innvunnet landområde. Hallene er bygd ut i flere trinn og den siste hallen i fase 1 blir tatt i bruk i disse dager. Oppdragsgiver for dette prosjektet var JTC og de ønsket å trekke med seg Sintef inn i forskningsprosjekter for å se på muligheten for å utvikle nye arealer for bolig og næring ved å legge det på store flytende konstruksjoner.

Samtidig vakte også E39 på Vestlandet, med sine planlagte lange flytende bruer, stor interesse.

Sintef og NTNU samarbeider med National University of Singapore om å utvikle innovative og optimale konstruksjons- og fundamenteringsløsninger, materialer, bygge- og installasjonsmetoder, samt anbefale retningslinjer for store flytende konstruksjoner. Som case har de valgt et flytende drivstofflager og et flytende industriareal.

På sjøen: I Nederland er vanlige boliger blitt flytende. Selskapet Waterstudio har tegnet og prosjektert boliger på kanaler, og mener det er fullt mulig å bygge tilsvarende ute i havet. Til å begynne med vil dette dreie seg om å bygge hybridbyer ut fra fastlandet.Foto: Miquel Gonzalez

Slik kan en flytende bydel bygges opp

En utfordring for en flytende by er at den vil bevege seg med bølger og vind. Spesielt boligområdene bør ligge rolig for at folk skal ønske å bo der.

– Folk undervurderer størrelsen på dimensjonerende bølger – det vi populært kaller «100-årsbølgen». I Nordsjøen kan dette fort tilsvare et nietasjers hus. Det er lett å la seg begeistre av visjonene og mulighetene, men du må aldri miste sikkerheten av syne, sier Hellan.

En flytende bydel vil bygges opp med store moduler der koblingen mellom dem blir spesielt viktig. De ytterste modulene vil være mest påvirket av vær og vind, og må ha mulighet til å bevege seg med bølgene.  Lenger inne vil bevegelsene være mindre, og underlaget oppleves godt og stabilt. Randsonene kan for eksempel utnyttes til fritidsområder – i finvær kan folk ligge på stranda eller drive med sportsaktiviteter. Når det blir dårlig vær vil de naturlig trekke inn mot sentrum.

Cruiseterminal: Denne illustrasjonen viser hvordan cruisebåtene kan legge til ved et flytende kaianlegg. Foto: Waterstudio

Innenfor rekreasjonssonen kan det tenkes lagerbygninger og industri. Koblingen til de ytterste modulene må være fleksible og tillate bevegelser, mens de innenfor beveger seg mindre. I kjernen kan det legges boliger og forretninger. Her vil koblingene mellom modulene nærmest være faste.

– I Norge kan vi mye om hvordan slike konstruksjoner skal bygges slik at de tåler været.  For eksempel har oppdrettsbransjen lært oss mye, der man har gått fra stive konstruksjoner til å bygge konstruksjoner som er ettergivende. De klarer å føye seg etter sjøen i stedet for å slåss mot den, sier Hellan.

Eget seminar under Evolve Arena

Den som satt Equinor Innovation Team på sporet av å se på flytende byer, var Anastasia Malafey, prosjektleder ved Evolve Arena. Det er et arrangement på Norges varemesse i desember som handler om utviklingen av smarte byer, mobilitet og fremtidens samfunn.

Da hun i fjor analyserte hvilke temaer som burde være med i en slik konferanse og møteplass, kom ideen om å vise hvordan norske bedrifter innen maritim og olje og gass kan bruke sin erfaring til å utvikle å flytende byer.

–  Som ingeniør, fikk jeg fort forståelsen av hvor kompleks oppgaven med å flytte byer ut i sjøen er. Men flytende byer er ingen utopi. I Peru bodde folk på de flytende øyene på Titicacasjøen i mange hundre år. Etter en måned med arbeid og mange bra innspill fra nettverket i Singapore, Japan og SINTEF, begynte konseptet rundt flytende byer å ta form og jeg tok kontakt med Equinor, sier Malafey.

Dermed startet prosessen med å finne nye forretningsområder for norske bedrifter og samtidig  løse problemer knyttet til den globale urbaniseringen og klimautfordringene.

– Det handler om å synliggjøre muligheter for nye forretningsområder, sier Malafey.

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Dubai is getting these stunning $23 million floating villas that can withstand flooding

Like a number of coastal areas around the world, the United Arab Emirates is becoming increasingly vulnerable to sea level rise.

According to a 2017 study from the Emirates Wildlife Society and World Wildlife Fund, researchers expect ocean levels to rise around three feet by 2100. If that happens, water would inundate about 8.1% of the Emirate of Ajman, 1.2% of the Emirate of Sharjah, and 5.9% of the Emirate of Umm Al-Quwain. Many UAE residents live in these coastal areas.

A new type of floating home could withstand future rising sea levels. Waterstudio, a Dutch architecture firm that exclusively designs floating structures, is creating 33 private villas on artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. Developer Dutch Docklands will build the first one this month.

The buoyed islands will bob up and down with water levels so they won’t flood, Waterstudio founder Koen Olthuis told Business Insider.

Take a look at the project below.

This year, Dubai is getting its first of 33 floating villas by Waterstudio, which collaborated with French oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau.

There’s no set timeline on when the entire neighborhood, dubbed Amillarah, will be complete.

Foto: source Waterstudio

The islands will also include outdoor patios with trees and a pool.

Foto: source Waterstudio

The homes will not exactly be affordable. Each island will cost between $23 million and $27.5 million.

Foto: source Waterstudio

They went on sale in 2015.

The islands will range in size from 150,000 to 450,000 square feet.

Foto: source Waterstudio

The only way to reach them will be by boat or seaplane. If water levels rise, so will the homes.

Foto: source Waterstudio

The floating, concrete base of the islands are designed to last for 100 years, according to Olthuis.

Foto: source Waterstudio

Waterstudio has exclusively built floating structures for over a decade. In 2008, the team completed this floating neighborhood in Amsterdam.

Foto: source Waterstudio

Waterstudio’s latest luxury villas are part of an even more ambitious project that began in 2003 called “The World,” a 24-square-mile archipelago of over 300 artificial islands. Dubai-based developer wants to start building homes and hotels on them by 2020.

Foto: These islands won’t be around much longer. source Wikimedia Commons

Prior to 2009, “The World” had already racked up $25 billion debt. The financial challenges have only gotten more difficult.

The Amillarah villas could revive the fantastical project. “We will see more floating neighborhoods in the next five to 10 years,” Olthuis said. “Cities will start to see the water as an asset.”

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Koen Olthuis ontwerpt varende villa

Architect Koen Olthuis van Waterstudio.NL heeft voor de catalogus van de Amerikaanse onderneming ARKUP een ‘woonjacht’ ontworpen. Een eerste exemplaar van de varende woning wordt momenteel gebouwd en zal te zien zijn tijdens de Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, die in februari 2018 plaatsvindt.

Het Next Generation Floating House is vormgegeven als een luxueuze en ruime drijvende villa. De woning biedt een oppervlak van ruim 400 m2.

Varen of staan
Het ontwerp van Koen Olthuis onderscheidt zich verder van de gewoonlijke drijvende woningen doordat het zichzelf kan voortstuwen. Voorzien van elektrisch aangedreven schroeven verandert de drijvende woning in een ‘bewoonbaar jacht’, in de woorden van de firma ARKUP.

Het ontwerp heeft nog een opvallend kenmerk. De drijvende villa is voorzien van een hydraulisch systeem waarmee het vier poten op de bodem kan zetten, indien de bewoners meer stabiliteit wensen. Het hydraulische systeem kan de villa zelfs boven het wateroppervlak uit tillen en het systeem zou zelfs orkanen kunnen weerstaan.

Zelfvoorzienend
Het Next Generation Floating House is in hoge mate autonoom en milieuvriendelijk. Het functioneert geheel op zonne-energie en is onder meer voorzien van een systeem voor opvang en zuivering van regenwater.

Het ontwerp kan naar wens van de potentiële koper worden aangepast. Olthuis heeft het Next Generation Floating House ontworpen voor de specifieke omstandigheden van de wateren van Florida, maar de drijvende villa kan aan andere omstandigheden worden aangepast.

Architects Worldwide Invent Groundbreaking Floating And Flood-Resistant Solutions To Climate Change

Sea levels are rising to new highs, temperatures are increasing, floods and storms are getting fiercer and more widespread, Hurricane Harvey battered Texas and Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and the Caribbean, and hundreds of millions of people along floodplains worldwide live under threat due to climate change. Nations like the Maldives have to build on water or move to flee rising sea levels, New Orleans has to battle storm surges and Jakarta has to cope with massive flooding. Inaction doesn’t always benefit cities, as innovations driven by changing realities can introduce new prosperity. Mitigating the effects of climate change is usually seen as a cost, but the resulting modifications made in cities can lead to long-term economic and social benefits. Climate change is not just about the risk of floods and drowning, but also the financial cost of damaged property and businesses and how it will redefine which parts of a city are sought after and which are unsafe. A one meter sea level rise would reorganize maps and affect financial stability in many of the world’s biggest waterfronts, and precious real estate in places like New York and Miami would be lost. Lots of land in Bangladesh, India and the Philippines would also vanish. Many of the water defense systems in the Netherlands safeguarding the country would become ineffective. World leaders may be delaying addressing the issue as they favor short-term strategies with immediate benefits, but in the meantime, certain architects are working on solutions to build more resilient structures on the water or to address flood protection on land and changing the rules that traditional urban planning has imposed upon us. By resolving the issues stemming from climate change and urbanization, water-based architecture is redefining urbanism. Offering a minimally-invasive method of construction, modern floating developments take advantage of coastal zones, rivers, lakes and canals in space-starved cities and provide flexibility as they may be modified, moved and reused until the end of their lifecycles when they are recycled. The technologies and innovations required for water-based constructions already exist, but now changing the perception towards floating schemes is key to a more sustainable and safer future able to meet modern-day challenges.

Waterstudio’s Citadel floating apartment complex composed of 60 units in The New Water, city of Westland, The NetherlandsCOURTESY OF ARCHITECT KOEN OLTHUIS – WATERSTUDIO.NL

 

What if instead of fighting rising sea levels, we embrace the water by integrating it into our cities, creating resilient buildings and infrastructure that can deal with extreme flooding and heavy rains? As many metropolises are situated near the water, it is logical that cities will find a way to live with the water instead of relocating inland. A leader in floating architecture who sees the potential that water can bring in making cities more resilient and safer, Koen Olthuis and his Amsterdam-based firm Waterstudio founded in 2003 – among the first to focus exclusively on waterborne architecture – have been showing the benefits of building on the water and how befriending water is a means for survival. This is an architect who was raised in an artificial landscape engineered for water, as about one-third of the Netherlands with over 60 % of the country’s population lies below sea level, and the Dutch have spent the last thousand years constructing storm surge barriers, dikes, pumps and drainage systems to keep the North Sea out. Experts in high-tech engineering, water management and resilience planning, they have installed lakes, parks, plazas and carparks that serve social needs, but also double as giant emergency reservoirs for when floods occur from storms now predicted to happen every five to 10 years. Water has been a way of life in the Netherlands and foreign delegations from Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans often visit to learn from them. Climate change adaptation is high on the public agenda although the country hasn’t met with a disaster in years because the population has seen the benefits of improving public space, which is the additional economic value of investing in resilience.

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INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Koen Olthuis of WaterStudio.nl talks about design for a Water World

In light of all the dire news related to climate change, rising sea levels and the natural disasters which have stricken numerous coastal areas around the world, we here at Inhabitat would like to highlight an interview Inhabitat Editor-in-Chief Jill Fehrenbacher conducted with architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl. A studio focused on designing for a future water world, Olthuis has been at the forefront of this once unconventional, yet now timely design vernacular. Olthuis says that despite our civilization’s history of trying to drain and fight against wet landscapes for the past thousand years, our best move for the future would be to “let water in and even make friends with the water.” Read on for the fascinating interview where Olthius describes his what designing for water landscapes worldwide really means.

You have to trust an architect who has grown up in a landscape completely engineered for water. Roughly a third of the Netherlands lies below sea level, and is home to over sixty percent of the country’s population of 15.8 million people. The Dutch have spent the last thousand years constructing dikes, pumps, and drainage systems in a constant battle to keep the encroaching North Sea at bay. On my recent trip to the Netherlands, I was fortunate to get the chance to sit down with architect, to discuss amphibious dwellings, floating foundations, and his experiences designing for water landscapes worldwide.

Jill: So Holland is almost completely built on wetlands, right?

Koen: Yes, the landscape is completely artificial. It’s fake in the sense that we have pumped out all the water, created dikes, and if you don’t have those dikes, then this would all be under water. The problem is we have three and a half thousand areas like this. It is amazing. And if you ask just somebody in Holland, they don’t even realize it. People in Holland are so used to the idea that I think nobody knows what the risks are anymore. And people from the United States and China, watch our systems of keeping the water out of the landscape the water out. But while they want to emulate our system of dikes, we are actually trying to move away from fighting against the water. Now we are beginning to let the water in and we are starting to make friends with the water. We have to do that because eventually the dikes won’t be able to keep up and all of this part of Holland’s will be flooded. So, its better just to work with the water instead of fighting against it.

Jill: How did Holland get like this in the first place?

Koen:: Well, when the first people came here from France and Germany, they came to the coast and they found space to live in this swamp and they created little artificial hills – what we call terpen. And between each hill was swamp. And then they created dikes from one hill to another hill in order to keep them dry. And then after awhile, you have one, two, three, four terpen – artificial hills with dikes around them, you say okay, why don’t we just pump out the water in between it. And so this gradually became dry land – what we call a polder. Only the people had to pump out the water constantly. Because if you stop pumping, then in 48 hours, a polder will be flooded again with 30 to 60 centimeters water. That means that if you stop pumping, this will all be water immediately. And so, Holland is completely artificial, because we just keep on pumping – Well, three and a half thousand polders constantly pumping out the water is a problem at times when there is a lot of rain and the river gets too high, and when the sea water level is high…

Jill: Some of your houses are floating, some of them are raised and some of them are amphibious. Can you explain the difference? I mean, I see houseboats all over Amsterdam – how are your buildings different from houseboats?

Koen:: Well there’s 60,000 houseboats in Amsterdam, but all of those have dimensions of five to six meters by 20 to 25. We’re doing something completely different, which allows the buildings to get much bigger and be a lot more stable. We have a patented technology to create special “floating foundations” with foam and concrete – what we call floating land. These foundations move up and down on piles. This allows us to go up to 200 – 200 meters in dimension and create larger structures. We use the term amphibious to describe these floating foundations that rest on piles. The foundation is set on dry land, and when the water comes, the foundation comes loose from those piles and floats upward, and become a floating house.

Jill: How did you get started in this business in the first place?

Koen:: We did a few designs for Amsterdam on the water, and I loved it. That’s what got me hooked. And I think, well, this is the choice I have to make. The first years were very hard, and now it’s getting easier.

Jill: How many houses and buildings have you actually built? I see a lot of CAD images of projects in the works, but not a lot of photos.

Koen:: We’ve built I think 24 houses now. But most of them — I think around 20 — are just modern houseboats. They are a little fancier than a normal house, but still they are houseboats.

I think we’ve built four really architectural, beautiful, unique buildings, and then we have 27 or 28 projects currently in the works, like the floating mosque in Dubai, like the floating boulevard in Antwerp, like the Health Village in Aruba.

The thing about our technique of working with the water is that the buildings and the floating foundations require very little maintenance. With these floating house techniques, waterproof houses, apartments, everything, you can just go on top of the normal structure of the polders and keep the original landscape in the same way as it is.

Jill: It sounds like it’s much more efficient and better for the environment. You don’t have to do anything to maintain it?

Koen:: Yeah, that’s correct. The only thing you have to be sure of is that the water quality underneath those big structures is alright. And that depends of the amount of oxygen, how the sand gets underneath your platform, the current…well, lots of factors. This works for a lot of places. It works for Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen. People have now been calling me from Tokyo, Ho Chi Min City, Bombay, Budapest.

Jill: Well, that makes sense, because every major city has water, doesn’t it?

Koen:: Yeah, that’s why they’re cities! In the newspapers we are always preaching “the floating city has a future,” and then everybody say, ah, I don’t know. Then when we show them Amsterdam, for instance, Amsterdam has more water than Venice. The whole city is made up of tiny islands on piles. There are thousands and thousands in Amsterdam, because it’s such a bad soil. If you look at Venice, the whole city is a static city. If they could have built it on a floating foundation just a few years ago, then the whole city would go up and down with the water, instead of constantly having to be drained.

Koen:: The most interesting city for us right now is Dubai. There’s amazing investment going into the waterfront right now, and it’s the first place where people are actually designing and building right in the water. We were asked to design a water taxi, and when we showed them that design they liked it so much that they wanted more. Now we are working on structures for part of the Palm resort and also this floating mosque. That will be for the Waterfront area.

ill: Do you have anything in the U.S. in the works?

Koen:: No. It’s very hard to get plans realized in the United States. They’re very protective. Even for New Orleans. We have to find people already doing the work and then help them as a co-architect. But it’s not possible to get your own assignment over there. It’s really strange, because in other countries, such as Canada and England or Australia, we’re welcome. We can bring ideas in and get assignments. But the U.S. is a little bit protective of the market. And I think they should open up a little bit.

Jill: From what I can see in New Orleans, they could certainly use the help!

Koen:: Yeah. In the states, the problem is if there’s a big disaster like Katrina, then all the media totally focuses on that problem. And everbody gets really excited and says, “Okay, we’ve got to solve this.” But then a few months later, nothing has happened. And then the problem is no longer the focus of the media, and it’s back to the same old, waiting for the next disaster….

What you should do is make a real plan and do it a new way. Because when you get an innovative idea, the innovation brings in new economical possibilities. For example, we’re not a company who can have industrialized factories because labor is very expensive over here. But due to high standard of technical innovation we have here, we can sell our ideas and our expertise around the world. And it should be the same for the United States, in which labor is also very expensive, but innovation and technology standards are high.

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Nederlander ontwerp orkaan bestendige woonboot 3.0 a twee miljoen dollar

Mooi om te zien hoe verschillend objecten worden genoemd, afhankelijk van de locatie het object zijn plek vindt. Zo noemen wij hier in Nederland een huis op het water gewoon een woonboot, maar in Amerika noemen ze het een ‘Luxury Floating Home’. Wat jullie willen, maar wij blijven het gewoon een woonboot noemen! Toch hebben deze luxe woonboten een nogal Nederlands tintje, omdat ze zijn ontworpen door Koen Olthuis. De beste man is een waar genie als het aankomt op wonen op water. Mocht je daar meer over willen weten, dan vind je onderaan dit artikel een toffe Tedx Talk met Koen.

Omdat Amerika en de Caraïben eigenlijk altijd wel getroffen worden door orkanen, heeft Koen gekeken hoe hij huizen kan ontwerpen die hiertegen kunnen. Zijn oplossing is simpel: bouw ze óp het water. Samen met de startup Arkup heeft Koen huizen ontworpen die tegen categorie 4 stormen kunnen. Olthuis en Arkup noemen de huizen zelf ‘livable yachts’, omdat ze ook zijn uitgerust met een motor om eventueel naar een veiligere plek te varen. Wij zijn in ieder geval behoorlijk onder de indruk van het gedurfde ontwerp.

 

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Floating homes that can withstand Category 4 hurricanes will soon become a reality

As Hurricane Florence makes it way across the Carolinas, millions of coastal residents have reason to be concerned about the structural integrity of their homes. Already, nearly 300,000 homes and businesses have lost power, and officials are reporting damage to property in Onslow County, North Carolina.

When Hurricane Harvey swept Texas last September, it damaged more than 204,000 homes and apartment buildings. Around the same time, Hurricane Irma destroyed a quarter of the homes in the Florida Keys, according to federal officials.

While the idea of a hurricane-proof home may sound far-fetched, a housing startup called Arkup has created a residence that can withstand rising sea levels and Category 4 hurricanes. The key lies in its hydraulic while lifting it 40 feet above the ocean floor.

Arkup calls the residences “livable yachts” due to their buoyant nature, which allows them to bob with the water. After debuting the designs in 2017, the company teamed up with The Advantaged Yacht Charters & Sales, the oldest yacht charter company in Miami, to make the structures available for rent and purchase. In August, The Advantaged announced that it isaccepting charter reservations online.

The residences were designed by architect Koen Olthuis, who has pioneered the concept of the floating home.

Each 4,350-square-foot unit contains four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms.

The retail price for each home is $5 million.

The residences provide 360-degree views of the water.

They also have zero emissions and are powered by solar panels on the roof.

Guests can disconnect from sewage lines, thanks to a system that collects, stores, and purifies rainwater.

The units are just as mobile as a typical yacht.

Even as coastal residents become more fearful of rising sea levels, Olthuis wants cities to see water as an asset, not a challenge, to new construction.

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