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The skyscraper NATURE RESERVES: Architects hope to build £790,000 multi-storey habitats above and below water in cities

By Victoria Woollaston
Daily Mail


With green spaces being replaced by building sites and large-scale developments around the world, architects are constantly looking for ways to replace them.
One such concept, devised by a team Dutch-based architects, uses towering structures built with layers of green space in which flora and fauna could live.
Called the Sea Tree, the structures would have space for birds and animals to live above ground, and would be bedded under the sea for fish and coral to inhabit.

‘Urbanisation and climate change put a lot of pressure on available space for nature in city centres,’ explained Waterstudio.
‘New initiatives for adding extra park zones to a city are rare.
‘Yet these kind of additional habitats for birds, bees, bats and other small animals could bring a lot of positive green effects to the environment of a city.’
Waterstudio’s concept is called the Sea Tree and it was designed to add high density, green spots to towns and cities.
According to designs, it would be a floating structure built using layers where animals and birds can live.
The structures would not accessible by man, and would be built using offshore technology and resources, similar to how oil storage towers are built and powered out at sea.
The idea is that large oil companies would donate a Sea Tree, and the trees could be built on rivers, seas, lakes and harbours.
The height and depth of the Sea Tree could also be adjusted depending on where it was placed.
To hold it in place, Waterstudio claims Sea Trees would be moored to the sea bed with a cable system.
Under the water, the Sea Tree would provide a habitat for small water creatures or, if the climate allowed for it, artificial coral reefs.
As well as providing a home for nature, the green structures could help reduce CO2 emissions produced by cities and towns.
‘The beauty of the design is that it provides a solution, and at the same time does not cost expensive space on land.
‘While the effect of the species living in the Sea Tree will affect a zone of several miles around the moored location.
‘For as we know, this floating tower will be the first floating object 100 per cent built and designed for flora and fauna.’
The firm said inspiration came from a project in Holland where ecologists asked them to provide habitats for animals which couldn’t be disturbed by people.
The cost for the Sea Tree design is estimated at €1 million (£786,100), and this would depend on water depth, mooring facilities and transport from construction site to the chosen city.
Further cost differences would depend on the preferred flora and fauna.
Waterstudio said it is in the process of finalising the location of the trees, and discussing costs with oil companies. Once these are complete, they will start construction.

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You’ll get a chilly reception! Plans revealed for floating snowflake hotel in Norway that offers the perfect view of the Northern Lights

MailOnline, Sarah Gordon, July 2014

If you want to get the best view of Aurora Borealis, it is best to be as far away from light pollution as possible.

So this new floating hotel could be the perfect answer for holidaymakers who want to spend their evenings looking skyward for a glimpse of the glorious Northern Lights.

Rather appropriately, the new luxury hotel will be shaped like a snowflake and will be based in the fjords near the Norwegian town of Tromso, which sits within the Arctic Circle – one of the best places to spot the celestial phenomenon.

Known as the Krystall hotel, the unusual property is being developed by company Dutch Docklands, which specialises in floating structures and will be the first floating hotel in Europe.

Work will begin next year and the 86-room hotel should be ready to open to visitors in 2017.

The five-star offering will boast a spa and wellness centre and is designed to be completely self-supporting and self-sustainable.

Dutch Docklands explained: ‘The design is based on an ice crystal which blends-in naturally with the “winter environment” between the most beautiful fjords.’

The property will be built on a concrete base and will be tethered to the fjords, but will still be free to move between six and 10 feet either side of its epicentre.

However, guests should be unaware of the small changes in position, according to the designers.

The hotel has been branded a ‘scarless development’ by Waterstudio, a design company working alongside Dutch Docklands, as it will have minimal impact on its surroundings and could be removed in the future without any problem.

It has not been confirmed how much it will cost to develop the hotel, but Koen Olthius from Waterstudio said it is likely to be 15 per cent more than building a normal hotel, due to the floating foundation.

Dutch Docklands is also planning to open another floating property in the Maldives, called Ocean Flower.

And Italian designer Michele Puzzolante has proposed the development of another floating hotel in the Maldives and there are plans afoot to build an entire city that sits on the surface of the water, including museums and a theme park in China.

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The floating future of the Maldives, Mail Online

Mail Online, Mark Prigg, Aug 2012

For golfers who struggle to avoid the water hazards, it could be a challenging course. The Maldives has revealed plans for a radical £320m floating course, which players access by an undersea tunnel. The course is part of a massive plan to replace the sinking islands with a network of man made, floating islands. With an average elevation of just five feet above sea level the Maldives, with its 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, is the lowest country in the world.

Amid fears many of the islands will soon sink into the sea, the Maldivian government has started a joint venture with the architectural firm Dutch Docklands International to build the world’s largest series of artificial floating-islands.The Dutch firm has already built floating islands for prisons and housing from slabs of concrete and polystyrene foam.

In the Maldives, the floating islands will be anchored to the seabed using cables or telescopic mooring piles, making landforms that are stable even in storms. The architects chose this approach to minimise damage to the seabed, and also chose to build lots of small islands to reduce the shadow on the seabed, which could affect wildlife. The islands will be constructed in India or the Middle east to reduce costs, then simply towed to their final destination in the Maldives.

The islands will also be designed for swimmers, divers and even private submarines to enter them from below, and the Dutch firm designing the scheme has said visitors will be able to rent private submarines that can surface right in the middle of their living rooms. The idea is the brainchild of Dutch firm Waterstudio who designed the project. It is being engineered by floating architecture specialists Dutch Docklands. CEO Paul van de Camp said: ‘We told the president of the Maldives we can transform you from climate refugees to climate innovators.
‘And we have a way of building and sustaining this project that is environmentally friendly too. ‘This is going to be an exclusively green development in a marine-protected area.’
The first part of the project to be built will be the golf course. ‘This will be the first and only floating golf course in the world – and it comes complete with spectacular ocean views on every hole,’ said van de Camp. ‘And then there’s the clubhouse. ‘You get in an elevator and go underwater to get to it. ‘It’s like being Captain Nemo down there.’

Designer Koen Olthuis said: ‘We’ll be building the islands somewhere else, probably in the Middle East or in India – that way there’s no environmental cost to the Maldives. ‘When it comes to the golf course, the islands will be floated into position first and then the grass will be seeded and the trees planted afterwards.’ Development on the course is expected to begin later this year, and it should be ready for play by the end of 2013 ahead of the full launch in 2015.

The proposed site is just a five-minute speedboat ride from the capital of Male, giving golfers the chance to make quick journeys to the mainland. Amazingly, the course will even be powered by solar energy which is a resource the Maldives has plenty of – as it’s located just north of the equator. The designers claim the entire resort will be carbon neutral.

The ambitious plans will also feature 43 private islands. Called Amillarah (the Maldivian word for Private Island). This unique project exists of 43 floating private Islands in a archipelago configuration. Each has its own jetty for yachts, along with a pool. Palm trees give each mini island its own secluded area.

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