Inhabitat: Living on water is an idea that is finding itself on the radars of more and more people. What do you see as the catalyst for this movement going from a novel idea to widespread reality?
Koen:The predicted growth of the world’s population to about 10 billion people by the year 2100 - this is the strongest catalyst for this movement. Mega-cities are desperately in search of space, and if we want to protect our planet while creating new density at the same time, we have to use the existing water in and around our cities.
Architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl has been fascinating the Inhabitat editors for years with his innovative floating buildings and aqua-tecture. Far from being confined by convention — or by the boundaries of dry land — Olthuis has made a name for himself as an architect who pushes the boundaries of possibility when it comes to the built environment. With a studio focused on designing floating buildings for a future water world, Waterstudio.nl has designed everything from floating apartment complexes in the Netherlands to a floating mosque in the UAE to even an entire floating community of islands for the Maldives. While we’ve spoken in depth with Koen before about flood-resistant architecture, floating buildings and what he calls ‘sustainaquality’ — in the light of the latest tragedies that have hit Japan, we have to ask: how and relevant and sound is water architecture for today’s concerns? Read our exclusive interview where Olthuis explains the sustainability of building on water, as well as how he uses 3D modeling technology to help both clients and skeptics visualize how building on water could change the world.