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Old Posted Jul 18, 2016, 1:18 PM
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How To Build For A Wetter World

How To Build For A Wetter World

JULY 14TH 2016


Read More: https://www.1843magazine.com/design/...a-wetter-world


Architects are increasingly being asked to design buildings to resist deluges. Baca, an architectural practice in London, have become specialists in the field. The firm’s Amphibious House, completed earlier this year, was built on an island prone to frequent flooding near Marlow on the River Thames.

- For cities on dry land that are at increased risk of flooding, such as Hamburg and Rotterdam, architects are moving away from traditional defenses such as dykes, levees and dams, all of which work by holding water back but are sometimes overwhelmed in extreme conditions and are expensive to maintain. --- Instead, they are trying to make space for water in the urban fabric so that life can continue uninterrupted during flooding. Water plazas, which have been built in both cities, usually function as public spaces, but during floods they act as reservoirs until the water can drain away naturally.

- Floating architecture needn’t be grand and expensive. The Nigerian-born architect, Kunlé Adeyemi, captured the imaginations of designers around the world with a floating school for a slum in Lagos. The district of Makoko is home to around 100,000 people in a rapidly expanding city where the total population already exceeds 18m and where 2,000 new people arrive each day. --- The slum’s ramshackle houses teeter on stilts above the water, and are crowded and prone to collapsing. Adeyemi’s school seemed like an ingenious and cheap solution. The triangular, three-storey structure was made of timber off-cuts and bamboo, and buoyancy was provided by a platform of 250 recycled plastic barrels.

- A second, sturdier version of the floating school, the MFSII, is currently moored in Venice (above) – another European city bedeviled by rising water. It won the Venice Beinnnale’s Silver Lion award days before the collapse of the first model. The design, Adeyemi says, is “a prototype for a new type of architecture and urbanism on the water.” Even if his structure has had mixed success so far, plenty of architects are thinking about what this new urbanism might look like. One Anglo-Chinese firm, AT Design Offices, even dreamt up an unlikely plan for a complex of partially submerged, rounded hexagonal towers, connected by passages and interspersed with green spaces, farms, and docks for ships and submarines.


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