The citizens living off the Han River in Seoul, South Korea inaugurated the world’s largest floating island just last week with great excitement! With two more islands slated to open in September, the recently opened Viva is already drawing crowds en masse with its first-rate entertainment complex. The stunning structure includes a 700 seat convention hall, restaurants and arcades — all powered by solar energy. When the development is completed, the trio of islands will be linked together by twenty-three weather-proof chains.
Seoul’s man-made islands differ from those common to Dubai, which are constructed by building up sand on the ocean floor. Viva, and its satellite islands, instead float, and are buoyant on the river’s surface. Should there be a flood, the islands while rise and fall with the water levels, rather than be flooded over. A high tech tracking system will alert a controller should the islands float too far from their home site, due to changing water levels.
Supported by 24 giant airbags, Viva weighs in at 2,000 tons, but can support building facilities up to 6,400 tons. The island will be harnessed by chains to a 500 ton concrete block to keep it in place. The three story building which holds all facilities is covered with 54 square meters of solar panels, which produced 6 kilowatts of energy each day, providing the facilities below with electricity, and also illuminating the facades at night.
The $83.9 million dollar government project includes the 35,000 square foot Viva, 15,000 square foot Vista and nearly 4,000 square foot Tera. Combined, they will host international conventions, water sports events, restaurants, cultural performances and exhibitions. All three islands should be open by late August 2011.