In the post yesterday I mentioned that the Water Discus Hotel might be a little overly ambitious because it makes the leap into submerged living spaces too quickly. The smartest way to approach massive aquatic hotels is to do so gradually — first with beautiful aquariums provided by Okeanos Group, then floating houses, then floating communities, and then move on to large-scale buildings.
Their plan is to use floating buildings to revitalize Canting Docks in Glasgow, Scotland. These docks used to be a major focal point for the city and the source of countless jobs. The industry has since moved elsewhere, leaving the docks with a somewhat undefined purpose. There have been a few attempts to revitalize the region, but nothing will turn head quite like a floating boardwalk.
The heart of the proposed community would be a horseshoe-shaped promenade that connects to Glasgow Science Center at one end, snakes along the water near the shore, and then ends back at the river. The folks at Baca and ZM plan to install buildings along the outside of the promenade, offering people just about everything they could expect to find in a typical suburb. There will be family houses, restaurants, cafes, stores, a theater, and an 80-100 person hotel.
That’s in addition to all the boats that will find temporary homes along the inner half of the promenade. This unique layout should create an interesting dynamic for the area. The families that live in the floating houses will have a permanent residence, but the arrival and departure of boats will cause the community to be in a constant flux.
I have to say, this is a much more reasonable approach to tackling aquatic architecture. This should give architects ample time to learn from their mistakes and figure out how to marry water with buildings. One of their ideas is to use lightweight steel frames that should allow for three-story houses that won’t sink into the deep blue sea. Each building should be able to pull off a respectable 1000-3500 square feet, and they’ll also make use of green energy sources to ensure that the community stays as eco-friendly as possible.
This project has been given the green light, so we can look forward to seeing it around 2020. Assuming that nobody else beats them to the punch over the next eight years, then this will genuinely be the first floating suburbs. You have to wonder, though: where will the houseboat residents park their cars?