Architects often use nature as a source of inspiration for buildings. After all, Mother Nature is a sort of architect in her own unique way, building bridges out of sand, towers out of trees, and subterranean basements. In addition to the fact that many natural objects are good sources of inspiration from a logistics standpoint, nature also provides an endless supply of beautiful shapes and colors for manmade buildings.
The design teams OODA and OOIIO are looking to water lilies for their Leeuwarden housing plan. Like the water lily itself, the Leeuwarden complex needs to create a bridge between land and water. To that end, these architects will build a set of apartment buildings along the river, incorporating the natural flowing water into the design.
In this layout, boats will replace sidewalks and roads, thereby creating a living area that is more harmonious with nature. Each apartment building will, in effect, be like a floating lily pad, with inhabitants living on miniature islands surrounded by shallow water.
While creating island-like housing might seem inconvenient to many, it is actually quite logical from the viewpoint of a native Dutchman. Rising sea levels are slowly swallowing the low-altitude country, forcing many architects to find alternatives that incorporate land and water in unorthodox ways.
Rather than fighting against the growing water levels, architects in the Netherlands are acknowledging the inevitability of water and are working with nature, rather than against it. The Leeuwarden design is just one of several Dutch architectural creations that follow this philosophy.
Because so many of these Dutch buildings focus on style and utility rather than style, many floating buildings and aquatic structures are fairly plain. The Leeuwarden complex, however, incorporates artistic flourishes and true style into the design. If you need to invent a basic engine before you can build a Ferrari, then the Leeuwarden complex is one step closer towards realizing the high class and artistic potential of aquatic architecture.