The Sea Tree, designed by Amsterdam-based Waterstudio.nl led by Koen Olthuis, is a floating habitat that creates a safe haven for flora and fauna both underwater and above it. As urbanization and climate change advance, the respective habitats for animals and plants are at a greater risk, especially in urban centers. To counteract some of those factors, Waterstudio.nl came up with these protected reserves to help bring positive environmental benefits to the city.
The Sea Tree is a floating structure moored out in the water by a cable that holds a series of layers for a variety of species. The structure would be built using offshore technology similar to oil storage towers, which can be found on open seas and can be designed for specialized locations like rivers, lakes or the ocean. Totally self-sufficient, the structure serves as a base that will eventually grow and support a wide range of flora and fauna including birds, bees, bats and other small animals that will help bring a positive environmental benefit to the city. The structure is also designed with narrow and steep sides at the water line so that people cannot get onto it and bother the animals.
Waterstudio.nl dreamed up this concept to help protect natural habitats in urban areas and they thought it would be especially perfect for New York City. Their hope is that large companies, like oil companies, would purchase these structures and donate them to cities as a way of showing their concern for animal habitats. Moored to the bottom of the water floor, the structure can move slightly with the wind and waves. Eventually the animals would overtake these forms and make them their own without taking up valuable space on land.