In a response to massive flooding in Thailand in 2001, architectural firm Shma designed a futuristic Water City that would provide a solution for future flooding crises. The old capital city of Ayutthaya was reimagined as a water-encompassed city, utilizing and organizing the influx of water into a livable city that both incorporates the water, and takes preventative measures. Water City was presented in a recent exhibition called “Water Brick” by the Association of Siamese Architects at the Architect '12 Expo in April.
Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is projected to become massively flooded over the next forty years, named “2050 Ultra Flood Plain.” In anticipation of the impending flood, Shma designed a plan that balances water and life, rendering a livable city, rather than a city in perpetual states of crisis. As Ayutthaya has become more populated over the past hundred years, a need to plan for natural disasters has become a reality.
Shma’s plan makes lemonade out of lemons, and transforms the flooding into an economic opportunity and attraction. An intricate water detention system is designed to control and maintain flooding, giving the power back into the hands of the citizens.
Agriculturally, the region’s rice paddies can still thrive, and the detention reservoirs will provide a water source should there be a drought. The water would be naturally filtered through bio-filters built into the land that lead to the Chao Praya River. A method called Double Cropped Fields will free up land for water detention during floods and yield food when needed. Shma envisions organic waste from the farms being composted and converted into biogas to help power the city, building dikes to control water and fertilize crops.
Water-based activities will entice tourists, who already flood in to visit the ancient sites of the city. Kayaking, canoeing, and water taxis will attract adventure tourists, making Ayutthaya an agricultural and tourist attraction in the future.
Via Arch Daily