In Bangladesh, where rising sea levels are having profound effects on the landscape, one nonprofit organization called Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha run by architect Mohammed Rezwan is fighting back by adapting, a true quality of resilience. Rising water levels and the tumultuous climate is displacing people by the thousands; a projected 20% of Bangladesh is expected to be covered in water within twenty years. For a country that is one of the densest populated state on the planet, this figure has disastrous consequences for a population that has limited access to fresh water, food, and medicine. In response to these conditions, Shidhulai has focused on providing education, training and care against the odds of climate change by adapting to the altered landscape: moving schools and community centers onto the water – on boats.
Koen Olthuis’s Dutch practice, Waterstudio, has been preparing for the environmental impacts on architecture for ten years now – building a practice on the assumption that a new solution for inhabitation is on the water. Having lived in Amsterdam, Olthuis has intimate experience with the battle against water that people have posed for themselves. In an interview with Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat, Olthuis describes how Amsterdam was settled, what it means to have a city built upon water and the maintenance required. Olthuis’ desire to colonize the oceans is not new, but his techniques, which he touches upon in this TEDx Talk in Warwick, focus on a refined and innovative way of approaching this strategy that is progressive in that it requires far less maintenance.
The Dutch have been fighting the rising and falling tides for centuries, building dikes and pumping water out of areas that are below sea level. Now, rather than fight the water infiltrating their land, the Dutch will use it as part of a new development called ‘New Water‘, which will feature the world’s first floating apartment complex, The Citadel.
This “water-breaking” new project was designed by Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio, and developed by ONW OPP/BNG in the Netherlands, and will use 25% less energy than a conventional building on land thanks to the use of water cooling techniques.
Seen at Inhabitat. More images after the break.