Will it float? Yes, it will!

Last week’s Artdog Images of Interest showed photos from the island of Manhattan, when it flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The post closed with a look at the way climate change flooding predictions are challenging city planners to consider creative new approaches.

The Ultimate Flood-Proofing: FloatingOne of the intriguing ideas I encountered to “flood-proof” a city was to make it float. This is scarcely a new idea. Villages all over the world have been built to float, for practical reasons. Take Ko Panyi, Thailand, for example.

The fishing village of Ko Panyi is mostly built on stilts in Phang Nga Bay, but it does have a floating football pitch.

Halong Bay Village, Vietnam, does them one better: the entire village floats. Here’s a great view from Getzel Photography.

No stilts for these hardy fisher-folk: they’ve built their village to literally float.


And it would be rude not to also mention the Uru People of Peru and Bolivia, who have hand-made 42 of their own islands (not to mention homes and boats and lots of other things) in Lake Titicaca from the local totora reeds.

The creative and resourceful Uru people build their own islands, homes, and very striking boats from the local totora reeds. 

Contemporary Innovations
Today’s architects and planners are taking that idea in new directions, with new technology. Here’s one example: a floating house on the Thames River by Baca Architects.


This house was specifically built to spare the damage of flooding on its flood-prone lot. 

Another example of an approach to sustainability that embraces the advantages of floating architecture is the Science Barge by Groundwork Hudson Valley.

Groundworks Hudson Valley has produced The Science Barge, a floating greenhouse and demonstration project in sustainability that is paving the way.


Visions of the Future:
Swale, the Floating Food Forest actually is a not-so-far-future concept: it’s supposed to float into New York City this summer! The project’s website is a cornucopia of creative sustainable ideas.

Concept rendering for how Swale Floating Food Forest will look in New York Harbor this summer (well, we HOPE the smog isn’t that bad!).
Concept rendering for an interior view of Swale Floating Food Forest.


Blue 21 is a futuristic floating city concept that incorporates flood-proofing, sustainable architecture, and locally grown food.

Floating city “Blue 21” is an ambitious and comprehensive design from Delta Sync of the Netherlands. They have many other cool projects on their website.


IMAGES: Many thanks to P. Transport, for the photo of Ko Panyi, Thailand. The magnificent photo of Halong Bay Village is courtesy of Getzel Photography. The photo of an Uru island is from the website Places to See in Your Lifetime, and it includes a lot more great images of these amazing constructions. 
The informative video about Baca Architects’ amphibious house on the Thames is courtesy of YouTube, via Inhabitat. I found the striking night image of the Science Barge on a page by EcoFriend, which does not seem to be online anymore! 🙁 The “outside view” of Swale Floating Food Forest is courtesy of PSFK. The interior view is from the Project’s own website.
The Blue 21 floating city image is courtesy of Inhabitat, which offers a slideshow of other views, too. 

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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