Gallery: Gorgeous Floating Water Lily Islands Soak Up Solar Rays


Headed by architect Winy Maas, research group The Why Factory challenges us to think big in regards to going green and conserving our natural resources. Making bold and slightly fantastical designs, the group’s plan for the Thai city of Phuket are both beautiful and self-sustaining. Part of an exhibition at Berlin’s Aedes am Pfefferberg, Why Factory’s submission is a series of water-lily like artificial islands that soak up the sun and convert it to energy.

The exhibition, entitled “Water- Curse or Blessing”, presents innovative projects for architectural and infrastructural advancement in regions of Asia that are near large bodies of water. Since 90% of residents of southeast Asia, as well as south and east of that live near water, the exhibition tackles the issues that are specific to these regions. Water may be everywhere, but these areas are still commonly afflicted by droughts, floods, and shortages of potable water.

Why Factory’s water lilies are giant floating islands that surround the lush city of Phuket. Opening in blossom towards the sun, the lily islands would attract tourists to the area. Each would be accessible by boat, with stairways that lead to platforms providing incredible views – views also reflected in each petal of the blossom. Not only beautiful, but the islands are also functional, soaking up sun with their giant radii, and transferring it back to power the city.

Why Factory’s ideas are large scale- they don’t believe in small individual steps, but rather grand gestures to slowly turn this world into a sustainable energy powerhouse.

+ The Why Factory

Via Designboom


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  1. JRD83 July 19, 2011 at 2:44 am

    What is so great about this idea is that it has the potential to protect land from disastrous floods. It could be made so that a coral reef could grow around the bottom base of the instillation. Thus creating a barrier to protect land and provide a sustained ecosystem for the organisms around the solar lilies.

  2. onetooo July 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    These are beautiful…
    One question…what about all the birds that fly in this area. Won’t they be blinded by the reflections…

  3. junkdog8 July 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

    love the idea, but there are still several points that need to be addressed.
    1. is this place able to be lived in or only for power generation.
    2. how is the power transfered back to the city.
    3. is it able to be locked down or protected somehow during storms.
    not criticism just food for thought.

  4. Ashley Lee July 13, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Wow, It’s really Gorgeous !! When I see that picture, The movie “AVATA” come to mind. There are floating island in seoul, korea. Names are Viva ,Vista and Tera. These islands really beautiful too! (The Jaw Dropping Convergence of Design and Technology Continue with the Floating Island = )

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