Baca Architects and ZM Architecture have teamed up with Floating Concepts to design what has been dubbed the world’s first “floating leisure village” at Canting Docks in Glasgow. The Scottish city—in which the docklands once served as a major industrial hub—has seen significant urban renewal in recent years and the mixed-use floating development could add to the city’s appeal. Plans for the location, which lies just off the River Clyde, include a boat-sharing facility, an 80-100 room pod hotel, single-family homes as well as a cafe and theater— much of which will utilize renewable energy.
The £30 million floating development is located directly adjacent to the Glasgow Science Center at the Pacific Quay, and will form a key part of the larger Clyde Waterfront redevelopment. Previous projects considered for that development include the ZM Architecture-designed solar power-generating floating lily pads. The Canting Basin development is designed around a floating horseshoe-shaped promenade, and public amenities at the development will include a public marina, an 80-100 bed pod hotel and a cafe and theater with rooftop seating. The hotel is comprised of modular stacking units atop a floating base, which has been awkwardly described as having the appearance of “luxury shipping containers,” with large glass facades to provide dramatic views of the river. The sloped elliptical theater can reportedly rotate (with the help of a tug boat) to provide views of events both on the water and on land.
The village will also provide apartments, townhouses and office spaces for residents, with lightweight steel frames allowing for three-story floating structures. The residential buildings, designed by Dutch and Scandinavian architects, will be available on an off-the-peg basis, and range from 1000-3500 square feet. All are designed with glass facades for views of the water, along with space for balcony and ground-floor level gardens, while on the outer edge of the property plantings will provide a buffer for the properties. Heat exchangers will harness the water for climate control for the floating homes, while grey water will be filtered and recycled on site.
While a large numbers of boats buzzing around the marina may not be the most ecologically sensitive thing, the developer’s focus on a water-borne, peaceful and car-free community certainly has its appeal. Each of the residential units will have its own berth, while office workers and visitors will be able to take advantage of a boat-sharing program and additional moorings to “encourage the use of the river for recreation and transport.”
The project was approved by the Scottish Executive last year, and is currently slated for completion by 2020.