Skip to content
Architecture, urban planning and research in, on and next to water
+31 70 39 44 234

12 futuristic cities being built around the world, from Saudi Arabia to China

By Maan Jalal
The National News

The Mirror Line, Chengdu Future City and Telosa are among the exciting projects in the pipeline

As the world changes, so must our cities.

With world’s population continuing to increase and climate change drastically affecting our environment, many metropolises are struggling to grow, develop and even support citizens within current and traditional urban designs.

Governments, entrepreneurs and technology companies are employing some of the world’s leading architects and designers to rethink the idea of cities, how people can interact and how to live within them.

From reclaimed land, groundbreaking skyscrapers in the desert and cities rising in the metaverse, here are 12 incredible futuristic cities redefining the urban spaces we live in.

The Mirror Line, Saudi Arabia

Designers: Morphosis Architects

Location: Saudi Arabia

The $500 billion Neom project in Saudi Arabia is set to be home to a record-setting 170-kilometre-long skyscraper called the Mirror Line.

It will be the world’s largest structure, comprising of two buildings up to 490 metres tall, running parallel to each other. The structures will be connected by walkways and a high-speed transport system, which will connect one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes.

Designed by the US-based Morphosis Architects, The Mirror Line promises to be walkable city, with no cars and zero carbon emissions.

BiodiverCity, Malaysia

BiodiverCity, Malaysia. Photo: BIG

Designers: Bjarke Ingels Group

Location: Penang Island, Malaysia

BiodiverCity is a planned sustainable city made of three artificial islands built off the shore of Penang Island in Malaysia.

A city where people and nature co-exist, each of BiodiverCity’s lily pad-shaped islands will be home to between 15,000 and 18,000 residents. Structures in the city will be built using natural materials such as timber, bamboo and concrete created from recycled materials.

The city is also planned to be a global travel destination with 4.6km of public beaches and 600 acres of parks along with a 25km waterfront. BiodiverCity will also be a car-free environment, where pedestrians can use the planned autonomous water, air and land public transportation network.

Chengdu Future City, China

Chengdu Future City, China. Photo: OMA

Designers: OMA

Location: China

China’s planned Chengdu Future City is challenging conventions of urban planning by proposing a master plan not based on traditional, car-oriented road networks.

The six distinct zones of the city will be connected though a smart mobility network using automated vehicles. The zones will also be pedestrian-friendly and within a 10-minute walk of each other.

The 4.6-square-kilometre site also includes an international education park where buildings, including a university, will have landscaped terraces, designed to be an extension of the natural formed landscape.

Akon City, Senegal

Akon City, Senegal. Photo: Akon City

Designers: Bakri & Associates Development Consultants

Location: Senegal

Akon City is a planned 2,000-acre futuristic city that will be located along the Atlantic coast, in south of Dakar, Senegal.

Conceived and launched by singer and entrepreneur Akon, the smart city will be eco-friendly and powered by renewable energy. Described by Akon as a “real-life Wakanda”, a reference to the film Black Panther that inspired him, Akon City is set to have large skyscrapers, shopping malls, parks, universities, a stadium and a technology hub.

Akon City’s goal is to stimulate the local economy and create jobs while using the latest technologies of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Telosa, the US

Telosa, USA. Photo: Telosa

Designers: Bjarke Ingels

Location: The US

Announced in September 2021, Telosa is a proposed city conceived by billionaire Marc Lore, to be built somewhere in the US western desert.

With a planned population of five million people by 2050, Telosa will be a “15-minute city” where all amenities from schools, workplaces and goods and services will be a 15-minute commute from residents’ homes.

Lore hopes Telosa will be the most sustainable city in the world where no vehicles powered by fossil fuels will be permitted. His vision also includes a reformed version of capitalism where wealth is created in a fair way, keeping residents’ quality of life as a priority.

Woven City, Japan

Woven City, Japan. Photo: Woven City

Designers: Bjarke Ingels Group

Location: Japan

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has already started construction on a 175-acre smart city at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.

Woven City will be one of the world’s first smart cities: a fully autonomous community designed to test new technologies such as automated driving, robotics and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment.

The city will be fully sustainable, powered by hydrogen fuel cells where pedestrian streets will intersect with those dedicated to self-driving cars. Wood will be the primary material for building to reduce carbon footprint and rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power.

Over the next five years, there will be a starting population of 360 residents with plans to grow the number of residents over the coming years. Initially they will be inventors, senior citizens and young families who will test and develop smart technologies.

New Administrative Capital, Egypt

A rendering of Iconic Tower. The Capital Business District (CBD) being built in Cairo’s New Administrative Capital. The 20 skyscrapers in the district include the 385-metre Iconic Tower, which will be the tallest building in Africa. Photo: Dar Al-Handasah

Designers: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Location: Egypt

Capital City is part of a larger initiative for Egypt’s 2030 Vision. The yet-to-be-named new capital city, located 45 kilometres east of Cairo, will be home to up to seven million people.

The privately funded project will cover 700 square kilometres and include 21 residential districts and 25 dedicated districts, 1,250 mosques and churches, solar energy farms and one of the world’s largest urban parks.

The Cairo Light Rail Transit, inaugurated last month, will connect Cairo to the New Administrative Capital. One of the main drivers for the construction was to ease congestion in Cairo, which has a population of more than 10 million people and is continuing to grow.

Liberland, the metaverse

Liberland Metaverse by Zaha Hadid. Photo: Metaverse

Designers: Zaha Hadid

Location: The metaverse

As the metaverse continues to inform how we could interact and occupy the digital realm, it’s also challenging how we view the idea of cities and nations.

British architecture firm Zaha Hadid, in collaboration with the micronation of Liberland and ArchAgenda, is creating a “cyber-urban” city in the metaverse named Liberland Metaverse.

The completely virtual city is based on the Free Republic of Liberland — a micronation claimed by Czech politician Vit Jedlicka, which exists in the disputed land between Croatia and Serbia.

Liberland Metaverse will act as a virtual industry synergy and networking hub for crypto projects, crypto companies and crypto events. People will be able to buy plots of land with cryptocurrency and enter digital buildings as avatars.

Floating City, Maldives

Designers: Waterstudio

Location: Maldives

One of the first floating cities in the world is being built in the Maldives in response to rising sea levels. With climate change threatening to change many cities around the world, 80 per cent of the Maldives is expected to be uninhabitable by 2050.

Maldives Floating City is currently being designed to home 20,000 people as soon as 2024.

The project is being designed to be climate resistant and work with the rising sea levels. The eco-friendly development will include 5,000 low-rise floating homes built on hexagonal structures that rise with the sea.

Amaravati, India

A rendering of Amaravati, India. Photo: Foster + Partners

Designers: Foster + Partners

Location: India

The city of Amaravati will be the new administrative capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in south-eastern India.

Situated on the banks of the River Krishna, Amaravati’s structure will be defined by a strong urban grid inspired by Lutyens’ Delhi and Central Park in New York.

Greenery and water will make up at least 60 per cent of the city with the aim of making Amaravati one of the most sustainable cities in the world, complete with the latest technologies such as conversion of light into electricity through the use of photovoltaics.

The transportation will include electric vehicles, water taxis and dedicated cycle routes with numerous pedestrian-friendly routes such as shaded streets and squares.

Nusantara, Indonesia

Nusantara, the new capital in Indonesia. Photo: Urbanplus

Designers: Urban + practice

Location: Indonesia

Indonesia plans to move its capital Jakarta to East Kalimantan, between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara on the Indonesian part of Borneo island.

Nusantara, the new capital, is planned to be a sustainable city where high-rise structures will utilise 100 per cent eco-friendly construction and use entirely renewable energy. However, environmental groups have been vocal about how Nusantara’s construction could cause damage to one of the world’s oldest rainforests.

The cost of moving the capital is estimated to cost $35 billion and is seen as a necessary step for Indonesia’s future. Building Nusantara will help with the economic growth of Indonesia and ease pressures on Jakarta, which suffers from continuous traffic jams and issues with pollution owing to a population of more than 10 million people.

Net City, China

Net City, China. Photo: NBBJ

Designers: NBBJ Design Firm

Location: China

China’s answer to Google, technology firm Tencent is building a city. The 22-million-square-foot urban development named Net City will be built on reclaimed land and will be designed to accommodate a population of 80,000 people.

The planned layout of Net City is designed to reduce traffic by including roads for buses, bikes and automated vehicles.

Net City is planned to be sustainable with rooftop solar panels and advanced technological systems for reusing wastewater.

Ten futuristic cities set to be built around the world

By Nat Barker

As a 170-kilometre-long mirrored megacity in the Saudi desert makes headlines, here is a roundup of 10 futuristic cities currently being planned across the globe.
Global issues such as the housing crisis and climate change are galvanising ambitions for a new generation of high-tech cities.The Line, a 500-metre-tall skyscraper that will house nine million people in northwestern Saudi Arabia, as shown in this video, is the most recent example but not the only one.

BIGFoster + Partners and OMA are among multiple architecture studios helping to masterplan futuristic urban centres, which often claim to be designed with a focus on sustainability.

Below are 10 ambitious cities set to be built in the coming decades:

The Line in Saudi Arabia
Image courtesy of Neom

The Line, Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian government this week unveiled visuals for a 170-kilometre-long, 500-metre-tall linear city planned as part of the Neom mega-development.

Despite its length and expected population of nine million, The Line will be just 200 metres wide with a transport system promised to connect the two ends within 20 minutes.

The city was designed as an alternative to the traditional circular urban layout, with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman touting it as “a model for nature preservation and enhanced human livability”.


Telosa city
Image courtesy of BIG

Telosa, USA, designed by BIG

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his studio BIG are master planning Telosa, a city for five million set to be built from scratch on an as-yet undisclosed site in the US desert.

The project is the idea of billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore, who hopes it will become “the most sustainable city in the world”.

Part of Lore’s vision is that the land will be owned by a community endowment, meaning increases in value could fund the city’s development with resident welfare as the priority.

BiodiverCity masterplan by BIG for Penang Island
Image courtesy of BIG

BiodiverCity, Malaysia, designed by BIG

BIG is also master planning BiodiverCity, a 1,821-hectare development of three artificial islands built off the shore of Malaysia’s Penang Island for the state government.

Each lily-pad-like island is expected to house 15,000 to 18,000 residents and be connected by an autonomous transport network with no cars.

Buildings will be mainly constructed using a combination of bamboo, timber and concrete produced from recycled materials, with an ecological buffer around each district to support biodiversity.

Capital Cairo by SOM
Image courtesy of SOM

New Administrative Capital, Egypt, designed by SOM

Egypt is building an entirely new capital city for up to seven million people in order to relieve congestion in rapidly growing Cairo, its current capital.

Architecture firm SOM produced a masterplan for the privately funded project, which will cover 700 square kilometres and feature one of the world’s largest urban parks.

Indonesia’s government has also announced major plans to build a new capital city on the island of Borneo. Its existing capital Jakarta is the world’s fastest-sinking city, having sunk by 2.5 metres in the 10 years to 2019.

Foster + Partners Amaravati Masterplan
Image courtesy of Foster + Partners

Amaravati, India, designed by Foster + Partners

Set on the banks of the River Krishna, the city of Amaravati will act as the new capital for the Andhra Pradesh state in India.

It will be arranged around a needle-topped government building and see more than 60 per cent of its central district occupied by greenery or water.

“The design brings together our decades-long research into sustainable cities, incorporating the latest technologies that are currently being developed in India,” said Foster + Partners, which is also master planning large neighbourhoods in Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok.

Smart Forest City in Mexico by Stefano Boeri
Image courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

Smart Forest City, Mexico, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti

Italian architect Stefano Boeri is working on plans for a forested smart city near Cancun that will contain 7.5 million carbon-absorbing plants and trees across its 557 hectares.

It will be designed to house 130,000 people in affordable, plant-covered homes and aims to pioneer a more sustainable way of city living.

“Smart Forest City Cancun is a botanical garden within a contemporary city, based on Mayan heritage and in its relationship with the natural and sacred world,” said Boeri’s studio. “An urban ecosystem where nature and city are intertwined and act as one organism.”

The Orbit by Partisans
Image is by Norm Li

The Orbit, Canada, designed by Partisans

The Orbit is another planned smart city, intended to transform a Canadian farming town through extensive use of fibre optics, drones and autonomous vehicles, with development decisions based on big data.

Toronto firm Partisans has described its design as a modern version of the garden city movement that emerged in the UK in the early 20th century.

It aims to balance new technologies with the existing agrarian setting while growing the town from 30,000 to 150,000 residents.

Maldives Floating City render from above
Image courtesy of Waterstudio/Dutch Docklands Maldives

Maldives Floating City, Maldives, designed by Waterstudio

Rising sea levels due to climate change mean much of The Maldives is expected to be uninhabitable by 2050. In response, the country’s government has partnered with architecture practice Waterstudio to design a floating city that will house 20,000 people in a lagoon near its capital as soon as 2024.

Billed by the architects as “the world’s first true floating island city”, it will include 5,000 low-rise floating homes and be built on a series of hexagonal structures that rise with the sea.

Another prototype climate-resilient floating city is being designed by Danish studio BIG together with Samoo and tech company Oceanix for the seas off Busan in South Korea.

Find out more about Maldives Floating City ›

A cluster of green-roofed buildings within a masterplan by OMA
Image courtesy of OMA

Chengdu Future City, China, designed by OMA

Dutch architecture firm OMA has produced a car-free masterplan for the capital of China’s Sichuan province that it claims challenges conventional urban planning models that are driven by road networks or maximising gross floor area.

Set to occupy a 4.6 square kilometre site, Chengdu Future City will instead focus on the land’s rolling topography, with six distinct zones designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

All buildings within each zone will be accessible by foot within 10 minutes, while a “smart mobility network” utilising automated vehicles will connect the city to the rest of Chengdu.

Innovation Park by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture 
Image courtesy of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture

Innovation Park, USA, designed by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture

Cryptocurrency magnate Jeffrey Berns plans to develop part of Nevada‘s desert into a smart city powered by blockchain technology.

With the help of architecture studios Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture, he intends to transform the 27,113-hectare plot into a community where people can bank, vote and store data without involvement from governments or third parties.

click here for source website

click here for the project

Die schwimmende Stadt auf den Malediven stellt sich der Herausforderung des steigenden Meeresspiegels

By Jonathan Kearney
Maldives Traveller


Die schwimmende Stadt auf den Malediven stellt sich der Herausforderung des steigenden Meeresspiegels

Da der Anstieg des Meeresspiegels auf den Malediven ein heißes Thema ist, schreiten die Pläne für ein einzigartiges und äußerst ehrgeiziges neues Infrastrukturprojekt voran.

Das 1-Milliarde-Dollar-Projekt Maldives Floating City schreitet voran und der Baubeginn ist für diesen Monat geplant.

Das Projekt wird die erste schwimmende Stadt der Welt sein, und die Malediven gelten als ideales Ziel für die Einführung eines solchen innovativen Projekts.

Die 2009 zunächst als Konzept entwickelte Maldives Floating City wird aus rund 5.000 neuen Häusern, zwei Luxusresorts, einem Yachthafen und Einkaufszentren bestehen.

Die schwimmende Stadt, deren Fertigstellung etwa fünf Jahre dauern soll, wird schließlich auch Einrichtungen wie Krankenhäuser, Schulen und Freizeiteinrichtungen umfassen.

Alle Wohnungen werden direkt am Wasser liegen und jeweils zwischen 83 und 140 m² groß sein.

Angesichts des steigenden Meeresspiegels, der die Existenz der Malediven bedroht, soll das Design der schwimmenden Stadt diese Risiken abmildern.

Die schwimmende Stadt wird aus sechseckigen Segmenten bestehen, die die geometrischen Muster der einheimischen Korallen widerspiegeln.

Die Siedlung wird von einem Ring von Barriereinseln umgeben und verbunden sein, die unter Wasser als Wellenbrecher wirken, um die Auswirkungen der Lagunenwellen zu reduzieren und die Strukturen an der Oberfläche zu stabilisieren.

Das Projekt wird von Dutch Dockland durchgeführt, das bereits Tausende von schwimmenden Häusern in den Niederlanden gebaut hat.

Die schwimmende Stadt wird in einer 200 Hektar großen Warmwasserlagune errichtet, die nur 10 Minuten mit dem Boot von der Hauptstadt Male und ihrem internationalen Flughafen entfernt ist.

Die Projektverantwortlichen sagen, dass die Wohnungen in der Siedlung erschwinglich sein werden.

Im Vorfeld der Bauarbeiten, die noch in diesem Monat beginnen sollen, haben die Ingenieure eine Bewertung des Bodens und des Zustands des Riffs vorgenommen.

Es wurde eine Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung durchgeführt, und das Projekt wurde von der Umweltschutzbehörde genehmigt.

Als niedrig gelegenes Land, das zu 99 % aus Wasser besteht, gehören die Malediven zu den Ländern, die am stärksten vom steigenden Meeresspiegel bedroht sind.

Mehr als 80 % der Fläche des Landes liegen weniger als 1 Meter über dem Meeresspiegel.

Es wird behauptet, dass das Land in den nächsten Jahrzehnten angeblich nicht mehr existieren wird, wenn nicht drastischere Maßnahmen ergriffen werden, um die Auswirkungen des sogenannten Klimawandels zu bekämpfen.

Innovative Projekte wie die schwimmende Stadt sind Teil der kontinuierlichen Bemühungen um ökologische Nachhaltigkeit, da die Malediven nach Lösungen suchen, um die Auswirkungen eines potenziellen Klimawandels zu bekämpfen.

Die Regierung sagt, dass die schwimmende Stadt es den Menschen ermöglichen wird, auf dem Wasser zu leben, ohne die Umwelt zu beeinträchtigen, anstatt Land neu zu gewinnen. Es werden zudem neue Riffe gezüchtet, die als Wellenbrecher für die Entwicklung dienen sollen.

Ein Netz von Brücken, Kanälen und Docks wird den Zugang zu den verschiedenen Segmenten ermöglichen und Geschäfte, Wohnungen und Dienstleistungen in der Lagune auf umweltverträgliche Weise miteinander verbinden.

Erneuerbare Energiequellen werden die schwimmende Stadt mit Strom versorgen, ganz im Sinne des Ziels der Regierung, die Malediven bis 2030 zu einer Nation mit null Emissionen zu machen.

click here for source website

click here for the project

Waterstudio - Maldives Floating City

Maldives floating city planned to combat sea level rise

By Dive Magazine


overhead view of floating maldives city model
The Maldives Floating City is designed to resemble the hexagonal structure of brain coral (Image: Maldives Floating City)

Radical plans to develop an environmentally-friendly floating city in the Maldives have been announced by the Netherlands-based engineering firm Dutch Docklands.

Officially named Maldives Floating City (MFC), the development, which is being planned in cooperation with the government of the Maldives will be set in a lagoon location situated 10 minutes from the Maldivian capital, Malé

According to a Dutch Docklands press release, the ‘first-of-its-kind “island city”‘ will offer ‘ a revolutionary approach to modern sustainable living perched against a backdrop of the azure Indian Ocean… a futuristic dreamscape finally poised to become reality.’

The project has been in development for more than a decade and plans to feature thousands of waterfront residences floating along a flexible grid spread across the 200-hectare lagoon. MFC’s design will be ‘inspired by traditional Maldivian sea-faring culture’ and the homes will be eventually joined by hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and a ‘world-class’ marina.

MFC is a response to the existential threat of sea-level rise posed by climate change. As one of the lowest-lying countries in the world, much of it less than 2 metres above sea level, the Maldives is widely recognised as one of the countries in most danger of becoming uninhabitable in future years.

(Image: Maldives Floating City)
(Image: Maldives Floating City)
(Image: Maldives Floating City)

‘As a nation at the front lines of global warming, the Maldives is perfectly positioned to reimagine how humankind will survive — and, indeed, thrive — in the face of rising seas and coastal erosion,’ said a Dutch Docklands representative. ‘By leading in this effort, the Maldives not only lays the groundwork for combatting its own climate challenges, but provides a viable blueprint for other nations to follow.’

The developers are keen to play down the potential for environmental damage that the floating city might cause. The visible parts of the city above the surface are modelled on coral formations and will be connected to the barrier islands, which in turn serve as breakwaters for the lagoon. The company stress that, because the city is floating, damage to the reef will be minimal.

‘MFC does not require any land reclamation, therefore has a minimal impact on the coral reefs,’ said former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed. ‘Our adaption to climate change mustn’t destroy nature but work with it, as the MFC proposes. In the Maldives, we cannot stop the waves, but we can rise with them.;

Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and will be carried out in phases over the next five years. The first sea-front units are expected to be priced from $250,000, and will be available to foreign investors and Maldives residents alike.

‘With its unique location in a paradisiacal setting, next to President’s Island — and full support of the Government of Maldives — we are extremely proud to launch the first Floating City in the world,’ said Paul HTM van de Camp, CEO of Dutch Docklands. ‘This will be an amazing place where locals and foreigners can buy their dream property at affordable prices.’

Maldives Floating City

Innalzamento dei mari, le Maldive costruiranno una città galleggiante (ed eco-friendly)

By Andrea Federica de Cesco
Corriere Della Sera

Innalzamento dei mari, le Maldive costruiranno una città galleggiante (ed eco-friendly)

Le conseguenze del cambiamento climatico saranno particolarmente dure per le Maldive. I governanti ne sono ben consapevoli e si stanno preparando. Si inserisce in quest’ottica il progetto Maldives Floating City (MFC), che ha lo scopo di trasformare l’arcipelago in una città galleggiante. Il riscaldamento globale sta infatti causando lo scioglimento dei ghiacciai a velocità sempre maggiore. La conseguenza è l’innalzamento del livello dei mari, particolarmente allarmante soprattutto per le aree costiere e per luoghi come le Maldive. Si prevede che i 26 atolli nell’Oceano Indiano settentrionale diventeranno inabitabili entro il 2050 e che saranno tra i primi luoghi al mondo a venire sommersi dall’acqua. In media queste circa mille isole si trovano infatti a solo 90 centimetri sul livello del mare. Secondo la Nasa lo stato insulare è il Paese con meno terreno al mondo.

Sulla nuova isola artificiale ci saranno migliaia di case (a partire da 250 mila dollari per 300 metri quadri), negozi, ristorante, un ospedale, una scuola e un edificio governativo. La progettazione è stata affidata a due società olandesi e i lavori di costruzione inizieranno nel 2022. La città avrà la forma di un corallo




Ecco perché il governo ha annunciato che le Maldive diventeranno una città galleggiante, soluzione adottata appunto per far fronte alla crisi ambientale. Il progetto in realtà è in via di sviluppo da un decennio (ne aveva scritto anche il Corriere, nell’aprile 2010, leggi qui, e all’epoca prevedeva anche un campo da golf galleggiante), ma è stato svelato solo ora. I lavori di costruzione inizieranno nel 2022 e il tutto sarà pronto nella seconda metà del decennio. La città sorgerà su un incrocio di reticoli flessibili e funzionali nella laguna di 200 ettari (pari a due milioni di metri quadri) a dieci minuti di barca dalla capitale Malé e dall’aeroporto internazionale. A progettarla sono state chiamate due società olandesi, Dutch Docklands, esperta in infrastrutture galleggianti, e Waterstudio, che si occupa di pianificazione urbana e architettura. Il risultato finale avrà la forma di un labirinto esagonale, così da assomgiliare a un corallo.


Previsti anche un ospedale e una scuola

Ci saranno migliaia di case di fronte al mare, ispirate alla cultura tradizionale marinara delle Maldive e costruite in modo ecosostenibile. Il prezzo partirà da 250 mila dollari per 300 metri quadri: difficile che le famiglie di pescatori se le potranno permettere, a meno che non riceveranno sovvenzioni dal governo. Alle abitazioni si aggiungeranno hotel, ristoranti, spazi commerciali, porticcioli, un ospedale, una scuola e un edificio governativo. Il sistema di strutture flottanti sarà fissato a un anello di isole, che faranno da base, e a un muro di rottura stabilizzante (come negli atolli). Attraverso un particolare sistema ingegneristico, le isole intorno alla laguna avranno il ruolo di barriere rispetto alla Maldives Floating City. «Questa ingegnosa configurazione riduce l’impatto delle onde della laguna, stabilizzando le strutture e i complessi in superficie», spiega un comunicato stampa. (continua a leggere dopo i link e la foto)

Un particolare delle vie della nuova città galleggiante nel rendering al computer Un particolare delle vie della nuova città galleggiante nel rendering al computer



In armonia con la natura

«La MFC non richiede alcuna bonifica del territorio, quindi ha un impatto minimo sulle barriere coralline», ha detto Mohamed Nasheed, presidente delle Maldive tra il 2008 e il 2012. «Inoltre, verranno coltivate delle nuove, gigantesche barriere coralline che serviranno da frangiflutti. Dobbiamo adattarci al cambiamento climatico senza distruggere la natura, ma collaborando con essa, come propone la nostra città. Alle Maldive non possiamo fermare le onde, ma possiamo innalzarci con loro». Il progetto farà da apripista per altre isole che presto dovranno organizzarsi per salvaguardare il loro territorio e la loro cultura dalla crisi ambientale.


Un particolare di uno degli approdi interni della nuova città galleggiante in progetto alle Maldive, tratto dal rendering al computer Un particolare di uno degli approdi interni della nuova città galleggiante in progetto alle Maldive, tratto dal rendering al computer

Sea Tree

By Pierre-Mathieu Degruel
Photo Credits: Waterstudio

This prospective project created by the Waterstudio agency is designed to be located in harbours basins. This sea tree is a floating structure composed of superimposed immersed and emerged terraces. On each level a different ecosystem evolves and offers green habitats for animals rejected from citied (birds, bees, bats…). Under the sea’s surface, the tree recomposes an environment favourable to small marine creatures and, when the climate allows it, artificial coral reefs. A real modern day Noah’s Ark, this growth catalyser of fauns and flora is inaccessible to man. The cities of New York and Singapore are seriously considering installing some.

Click here for the full article in pdf

AquaTecture, Buildings and cities designed to live and work with water

By Robert Barker & Richard Coutts
RIBA Publishing


Water plays a vital role in shaping our built environment, as it has done for centuries. We depend on it, we use it, we live with it and we must respect it. Aquatecture is the first book to outline new ways of ‘designing for water,’ using examples from around the world to illustrate methods of utilizing water innovatively, efficiently and safely.

The first part of the book explores the historical relationship between water and architecture, examining how cities and civilisations have been drawn to water and have attempted to control it. The chapters go on to assess how this relationship has changed over time, and introduce readers to a range of brand new techniques that will revolutionise the way we think about water, design and urban planning. Solutions such as amphibious housing, wet-proof buildings, zero carbon development, rain gardens, flood storage and new methods of waterfront design are discussed and their effectiveness assessed.

Full colour illustrations and international case studies are used throughout the book to bring these new theories to life; practical, technical advice sits alongside truly ground-breaking and ambitious ideas for the future. This book is an ideal reference tool for all architects, urban designers, planners and sustainability experts who have an interest in creating a beautiful, sustainable, intelligent and pleasurable built environment on land, in water and with water.

Click here to view the article in pdf

The Floating Dutchman

By Kerstin Schweighöfer
December 2015


Koen Olthuis | © Architect Koen Olthuis, Waterstudio.NL

The Citadel is a floating apartment complex near Naaldwijk, Netherlands. | © Architect Koen Olthuis, Waterstudio.NL



In the tradition of his water-taming nation, Dutchman Koen Olthuis designs floating islands to dwell and live on – not least because climate change calls for new solutions in architecture.

A vacation doesn’t get more wonderful than this: a white sandy beach, a green-blue, glistening sea and an exotic underwater world to thrill any snorkeling enthusiast. All you have to do to explore it is jump into the Indian Ocean from your personal jetty, because the elegant vacation villa where you’re staying is floating on the water. In a Maldivian lagoon, this dream is currently becoming a reality as the construction of 185 floating vacation homes is currently underway. They’re arranged in the shape of a giant flower on the water. Hence the name of the project: Ocean Flower.

It was designed by Koen Olthuis, a Dutch architect who is considered a pioneer of what is called Aqua Architecture: “I build exclusively on the water,” says the 44-year-old with a strawberry-blonde mop of curly hair. His buildings are made to withstand floods and climate change because everything Olthuis designs can adapt to the level of the sea. It is not by accident that his office in Rijswijk near The Hague bears the name

Bracing for climate change, without leaving a trace

In order to make such bold projects as the Ocean Flower a reality, Olthuis partnered with a fellow Dutchman, project developer Paul van de Camp, to found the company Dutch Docklands. It buys water properties all over the world to use them as building sites. This opens up completely new perspectives – not only for densely populated cities or countries where building sites are in short supply and hence, expensive: “It also helps residents protect themselves from the consequences of climate change.”

There is a reason Dutch Docklands launched its first project in the Maldives. It’s not just to cater to the recreational interests of spoiled tourists: The 300,000 inhabitants of the island nation will soon literally be up to their necks in water, because 80 percent of the Maldives are located barely a metre above sea level. The government had already announced plans to buy to land elsewhere in order to survive. Until Olthuis and van de Camp assured them that this was quite unnecessary: “We made the President of the Maldives understand that climate refugees can be pioneers of climate management,” said Olthuis. They understood immediately.

The Ocean Flower is just the beginning: Four more lagoons with floating vacation lodges are to follow, as well as a floating conference centre and one of the world’s most spectacular golf courses that will spread over several man-made islands to be connected by underwater glass tunnels.

And all this can be done without leaving a trace in nature or inflicting any damage, for Dutch Docklands is committed to what it calls the scarless approach: “Our units can float anywhere on the water for 200 years, yet if the area is needed for some other purpose, they can just be hauled away,” Olthuis explains. They will be gone without a trace.

The Dutch know how to live with the water

It isn’t surprising that the pioneers of Aqua Architecture are Dutch: Like no other people, the nation at the mouth of the Rhine River has spent centuries learning to tame the water or to keep it in check with dikes, dams and levees. As the proverb goes: “God created the world – and the Dutch the Netherlands.”

Whether it is in New Orleans or in Bangladesh: The expertise of Dutch hydraulic engineers and architects is in high demand throughout the world – today more so than ever, thanks to climate change, which brings swelling rivers, rising sea levels and more catastrophic floods around the globe.

The Dutch have long recognized that building ever higher dams won’t be enough. Therefore, the former nemesis is instead given more space: Polders are being flooded, retention basins are being built, tributaries being carved out and filled-up canals dug free again.

The old seafaring nation now has even less residential land available. Yet the Dutch discovered that the flooded polders and artificial water basins offer more benefits than just a controlled channeling of excess water.

Trend and challenge of generation climate change

As a consequence, aqua living has since become a trend in the Netherlands; all over the country, people reside in what is called waterwoningen. Their foundation consists of a concrete tub filled with Styrofoam, which is considered unsinkable. To keep them in place, they are moored to poles with rings so they can easily adapt to rising sea levels. Electricity and water lines are connected via hoses and cables.

Olthuis has designed countless waterwoningen: transparent villas sitting elegantly on the water, such as in Aalsmeer, Zwolle, Leiden or Amsterdam, which received an entire floating neighborhood in 2012, the steigereiland. In Antwerp, Olthuis designed a floating boulevard on the Scheldt, in Paris he created a restaurant on the Seine. And in a polder between The Hague and Delft, he wants to build de Citadel, Europe’s first floating apartment complex on a foundation of 140 by 90 metres. “Technologically speaking, all of this is easy to do,” he stresses.

The technology developed and patented by Olthuis virtually eliminates size limits on foundations for waterwoningen. In other words, the foundation can be a platform large enough to accommodate entire blocks of houses, complete with yards and parking garages: “The larger an object, the more stable it is on the water,” the architect explains.

Olthuis is therefore convinced: The city of the future consists of floating platforms that can be moved around like floes of ice. “It will evolve one step at a time,” the bold Dutchman predicts: The next fifteen years will see churches, schools and sports fields move out onto the water, then in 50 years, we will have platforms as large as 200 by 200 metres, with houses, roads and parks – until a century from now, the city of the future will be a reality: a flexible delta-metropolis of floating elements. For Olthuis, this new type of urban design, this new flexibility is “the great challenge for the architects of the climate change generation.”

Click here for the source website

Click here for the pdf

Back To Top