INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Waterstudio’s Koen Olthuis on FLOAT!

by , 06/12/13

FLOAT, koen olthuis, waterstudio, floating architecture, floating houses, sustainable architecturePhotocredit: Architect Koen Olthuis – Waterstudio.NL

Q. What about large off-shore farms? Do you see floating farms as a viable food production method?

A. Yes — not the main source of providing food — but because you can grow on water close or in a city, it could be the answer for cities which want to become less dependent on food from centralized production. The next step in worldwide food production is towards local foods that don’t have travel over the whole world before they are on your plate — this is necessary for a more sustainable world.

Q. What kind of safety mechanisms are available to protect floating buildings from the threat of flooding or tsunamis? Specifically, if a country like the Maldives were rebuilt as a floating country, how do they protect themselves against a rogue wave?

A. When countries like the Maldives fall victim to sea level rise and are replaced by floating communities, those will be on open water. In the Maldives however, the wave climate is quite mild. Waves above a meter in the atolls and lagoons are rare. Tsunamis have no landmass to build up to, so the wave stays just within acceptable ranges. I think you are better off on the water when a tsunami hits your country then on land.

Q. How can we use floating architecture to improve water quality and reduce our environmental impact?

A. Floating developments can be scarless developments, leaving no carbon footprint during their lifetime and no physical footprint after their lifespan. Sustainaquality provides us with new possibilities to make more effective sustainable developments. The temperature on the water in hot countries is always better than on land. Water-cooling and wind cooling are new forms of energy sources that will open the road for cities on water with less environmental impact.

Cities are dynamic and we should provide cities with dynamic floating components to change and adapt when needed without impacting the environment.

+ Waterstudio

+ FLOAT! on Amazon

Images Courtesy of Waterstudio

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  1. Tim Troxler February 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    This kind of thing appeals to me on many levels. Another nice benefit is that a neighborhood doesn not have to be subject to many months of noise, truck traffic and construction dust from new building construction. All that takes place far away and then the building is floated into place. But it would be a difficult sell for New York, where open water is fiercely protected by state DEPs. The understanding is that shading reduces the quality of aquatic habitat. But the US does have examples of huge floating buildings. I’ve seen the giant casinos along the Mississippi. They are built to float in man-made lagoons so that they are technically not on land, but in the river, and thus subject to different laws.

  2. Andrew Woodhouse September 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I M P O R T A N T

    I need the email address of Koen Olthuis, WATER STUDIO NL as soon as possible please for a major design project for Sydney Harbour, Australia, cruise ship terminal.

    Thank you
    Andrew Woodhouse,
    Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage Conservation Society

    30th Septemebr, 2011
    Ph 0011 66 415 949 506

  3. Diane Fischer June 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I saw it today at William Stout Architectural Books shop on Mission Street in San Francisco.

  4. AllForTheGreen April 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    It should not be this hard to find a book.. anyone know where I can pick this up?

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