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WEIRD WEDNESDAY: A Floating World

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Construction & Renovation, Environment, Sustainability

Tagged: , , , , ,

Published on August 12, 2009 with No Comments

Back in April, I posted an article about the new headquarters for Mayr-Melnhof, an Austrian wood processing company. And while this building appears to float, Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio in the Netherlands has done that one better by designing a whole community that actually floats.

So instead of fighting rising tides in the region, the world’s first floating apartment complex, The Citadel, will work with this natural resource to incorporate its benefits into the infrastructure of the development. As a result, the complex will use 25% less energy than a conventional building on land by tapping into water cooling techniques.

From Inhabitat:

The project will be built on a polder, a recessed area below sea level where flood waters settle from heavy rains. There are almost 3,500 polders in the Netherlands, and almost all of them are continually pumped dry to keep flood waters from destroying nearby homes and buildings. The New Water Project will purposely allow the polder to flood with water and all the buildings will be perfectly suited to float on top of the rising and falling water.

Built on top of of a floating foundation of heavy concrete caisson, the Citadel will house 60 luxury apartments, a car park, a floating road to access the complex as well as boat docks. With so many units built into such a small area, the housing complex will achieve a density of 30 units per acre of water, leaving more open water surrounding the structure. Each unit will have its own garden terrace as well as a view of the lake.

A high focus will be placed on energy efficiency inside the Citadel. Greenhouses are placed around the complex, and the water will act as a cooling source as it is pumped through submerged pipes. As the unit is surrounded by water, corrosion and maintenance are important issues to consider. As a result, aluminum will be used for the building facade, due to its long lifespan and ease of maintenance. The individual apartments are built from prefabricated modules. The Citadel will be situated on a shallow body of water, and in the future numerous buildings, complexes and residences will float on the water alongside it.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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