Last week we featured flying architecture, and now here’s a floating structure inspired by the grace and curvilinear form of a mermaid. European firm, JDS Architects’ Mermaid building is in a way both ridiculous and incredibly thought-provoking. Resembling the dystopian Lilypad floating cities that we covered a year ago, the renderings of the Mermaid show the building in every extreme biome on earth — from tropical islands to glacial surroundings. The building boasts terraces of greenery, a dolphinarium, hotel, and vacation properties. Is this just a glorified cruise ship? (With somewhat suspect structural support?) Or a new model for private development that truly is responsive to its aquatic surroundings?
According to the designers, the proximity of the building’s multiple programs and its unique floating site create a framework for the collision of sea, air, and light, intended to stimulate wellness for the building’s users. The Mermaid building — one could argue — is a new take on eco-tourism: bringing dolphins and sea life front and center for visitors and residents, all wrapped in a dramatic architectural feat.
The structure has four central functions: a dolphinarium, wellness center, vacation homes, and a hotel, each of which are nestled between dynamic archi-topological features like caves, sloping hills, and of course, the dramatic inclines of the “island” building itself.