Gallery: Wetropolis: A Floating City that Survives the Ebb and Flow of ...

The plan will be showcased this September at the “Water- Curse or Blessing?” exhibition at Berlin’s Aedes Gallery.
The plan will be showcased this September at the “Water- Curse or Blessing?” exhibition at Berlin’s Aedes Gallery.

S+PBA’s home city of Bangkok is rapidly sinking as it is eroded each year by floods of seawater that invade the city. A UN study claims that most of the city will become marshes by 2050. The city was built on marshy lands 300 years ago, but the grounds are rapidly deteriorating. The skyrocketing population and development of the city above has caused the underground aquifers to become over exhausted, making them unable to handle the flood waters.

The city is surrounded by polluted water fields, left over from the once burgeoning shrimp farm industry. The water fields are bought by developers, who in turn continue to build upon them, which has only worsened the city’s sinking state.

Bangkok has always been flushed with sea water, so S+PBA propose that the city learns to deal with it, and accept it as a constant, rather than a flood crisis. Embracing the water, they call their new Waterworld-style city plan a “Wetropolis.” The vegetation basis for the Wetropolis is a forest of indigenous mangroves, which the government is already trying to implement in Bangkok. The mangroves naturally filter water, and they also supply fresh oxygen and natural cooling. As the water is filtered, shrimp farming can flourish in a sustainable manner. The community will live above the water fields in a network of interconnected homes, walkways, and roads, with curvaceous lines that emulate the rippling water below.

S+PBA’s Wetropolis allows Bangkok to live with natural flooding instead of resisting it while creating a homeostasis that detoxifies the region’s polluted waters.


Via Arch Daily


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  1. dperl88 September 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Great feature, thank you for posting! The type of estuary flooding that Bangkok faces will also face hundreds of other coastal cities as sea levels rise. I am curious as to the costs of implementation. The amount of re-vamping of basic infrastructure (gas, sewer, garbage, water, electric, streets) to get a raised/stilted model city like this to work would have to be staggering.

  2. msyin July 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    This will be fantastic if it gets built. What I really love is the change in attitude of the designer to see something in a different light. A “disadvantage” is turned into a natural solution since the real problem was the fact that the natural landscape was never taken into proper account.

    I would definitely want to visit this when it is done.

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