As the New York Post reports, an international team of architects headed by Luca Curci Architects and Tim Fu Design have recently debuted the design for a floating city—or rather should we say, the design for another floating city. In recent years, waterborne communities have captured the attention of designers and architects like no other, so much so that it can be hard to keep them straight: A California nonprofit proposed plans for a floating city off the coast of French Polynesia in 2017, Bjarke Ingels Group unveiled Oceanix City in 2019, there’s a floating community in the Maldives already taking shape, mobile floating pods are being manufactured in Panama, and construction may soon begin for a floating city in Busan. And, of course, who could forget the $8-billion turtle-shaped yacht that was poised to be a mobile floating city? Although none have come to fruition yet, they’re often described as a possible solution and response to rising sea levels and climate change.
This one, appropriately named Floating City, has plans to take living on water a step further by creating a zero-energy city with 100% green transport systems. The design for the 25-acre community, which features sprawling Zaha Hadid–like white and curved buildings, was developed in part through the use of artificial intelligence. “Designed to adapt to the shifting needs of several coastal cities, particularly [those] vulnerable to sea level rise due to their low elevation, the project has the potential to expand and accommodate more than 200,000 people,” the proposal’s description reads.
The city is imagined as a series of interconnected platforms, which will house a combination of high-rise and low-rise buildings, all covered “by a membrane of photovoltaic glasses, which provide electricity to the whole floating system and make it energy-independent.” The platforms will be largely grouped depending on their function—for example, one main platform will hold most of the residential spaces. The project’s proposal also describes a “lifestyle” platform for hotels, malls, or a sporting venue as well as one for things like offices, government buildings, and hospitals. According to a press release, the architects will present Floating City at the Biennale Architettura 2023 “The Laboratory of the Future,” in Venice from May 20th to November 26th, 2023.
Water may very well be the future of human civilization—as many of these projects note, climate change will continue to impact our world and require new ways of thinking—however, none of these ambitious ideas have come to life yet. Of course, it may just take one completed project to prove the value of floating communities, and there are certainly plenty of available blueprints when the time to build comes.