As the world grapples with the urgent need to combat the climate crisis of embracing water, one stark reality remains—rising sea levels. The UN Secretary-General has warned that entire communities. Countries could vanish in the coming decades due to this phenomenon. They are putting approximately 900 million people residing in low-lying coastal zones at grave risk. However, a new approach is emerging, with architects envisioning a future. We not only coexist with water but build on it.
Living with Water: The Concept of Floating Architecture
Rather than resorting to conventional methods like seawalls or elevated homes, architects are exploring the potential of floating architecture. The concept of creating entire “climate-resilient” floating cities. It is such as the ambitious ocean settlement in South Korea and the 20,000-person strong project in the Maldives. It has captured media attention. Yet, present initiatives from Lagos to Rotterdam are already demonstrating how existence on water. It may be a sustainable and scalable reality.
“Water Cities Rotterdam” Exhibition: Exploring the Vision of NLÉ
The Dutch city of Rotterdam is leading the way. It is showcasing floating architecture through the “Water Cities Rotterdam” exhibition. This occasion capabilities the paintings of NLÉ. It is an structure exercise led via way of means of Kunlé Adeyemi,which has been at the leading edge of learning and checking out floating structure worldwide. The exhibition highlights the evolution of floating pavilions that originated from NLÉ’s acclaimed Makoko Floating School project, inspired by the central district of Lagos, Nigeria.
Makoko Floating School: A Vision of Adaptation
Makoko, a district in Lagos, critiques lots of residents living in informal wooden structures built on stilts withinside the lagoon.This precise agreement stimulated Kunlé Adeyemi to assemble a college for the citizens lower back in 2012. Reflecting on a devastating flood that hit Lagos in 2011, Adeyemi realized the potential of floating structures as an adaptive response to rising waters. The triangular A-frame wooden school, which floated on a base of plastic barrels instead of traditional stilts, marked the beginning of NLÉ’s exploration into floating architecture.
The Makoko Floating System (MFS): A Modular and Sustainable Approach
Building on the lessons learned from the Makoko Floating School, Adeyemi’s practice developed the Makoko Floating System (MFS). This system comprises sustainable timber structures that can be quickly assembled and disassembled with ease. Prefabricated, flat-pack parts enable a team of just five individuals to construct these structures within two weeks, without the need for heavy equipment. The MFS comes in various sizes and serves multiple purposes, including housing and education, with the aim of inclusivity and resilience in the face of climate adaptation.
A Global Application: From Cape Verde to Rotterdam
Adeyemi’s MFS has transcended borders, being used in different countries with diverse climatic and water conditions. In 2021, Cape Verde saw the establishment of a floating “music hub” that employed the MFS as its foundation. Back in Rotterdam, the city most vulnerable to rising waters in the Netherlands, floating architecture is becoming increasingly prevalent.One such project, Nassauhaven, contains 17 energy-unbiased floating homes created through manner of manner of Public Domain Architects (PDA). These wooden homes rise and fall gently with daily tides, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of floating structures.
A Vision for the Future: Expanding Floating Architecture
With increasing interest in floating buildings and the need for climate-adaptive housing solutions, architects are looking to expand these projects. PDA envisions a floating quarter of approximately 100 homes in Rotterdam, while Adeyemi’s firm aims to create a multi-story “water-scraper” neighborhood in Amsterdam. As 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, Adeyemi emphasizes the need for more research and exploration of water-based living, particularly as sea levels continue to rise.
Conclusion: Embracing Water as the Future
The future of architecture lies not in combating water but in embracing it. Floating architecture represents a sustainable and innovative response to the challenges posed by rising sea levels. As architects continue to experiment and expand these projects, floating cities and communities may soon become a tangible reality, offering a promising solution to the changing climate and a pathway to a more resilient and adaptable future.