Dutch designers: pioneers in floating architecture

08/01/2018/JM
A famous saying credits the Dutch for having literally created the Netherlands. This does justice to Holland’s formidable man-made infrastructure that renders buildable the land – half of which would have otherwise been regularly flooded. Today, as climate change causes sea levels to rise, floods are becoming a global challenge. With 75 per cent of the world’s ever-growing megacities located in delta areas, large-scale construction on water seems to be only a matter of time.

Dutch designers, architects and developers are already pioneering this next step: in Rotterdam, one of the world’s biggest ports, the team at property developer Beladon combines expertise in maritime technologyand agriculture to build floating farms for alternative fresh food production. Public Domain Architects has proposed floating homes as a solution for a flood-prone new development area – the buoyant Harbour Loft Apartments will simply move up and down in sync with the water.

screen_shot_2018-01-08_at_15.29.55.pngThe Wikkelboat in Rotterdam’s Red Apple Marina, a prototype of the Floating Community which will be unveiled in spring 2019

Reinforcing Rotterdam’s reputation as an innovation hub, Aqua Dock – a cooperative venture involving the municipality, the port authority and the RDM Centre of Expertise of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences – provides a test site for innovation in floating structures. Meanwhile, the emerging Floating Community in the city’s Rijnhaven area gets ready to host a flock of Wikkelboats. These floating versions of the already popular Wikkelhouse – a modular house built with multiple layers of waterproofed cardboard – will act as a showcase for new products and services that reduce the carbon footprint while improving the quality of life. (source: wallpaper.com)

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