It’s hard to guess where architecture and design will be in 100 years. Will the buildings of tomorrow basically look like the buildings of today, or are we only a few decades away from underwater houses, colonies on the moon, and structures that would make today’s most advanced skyscraper look like a mud hut by comparison?
Well, we might have an idea of where things might be headed. The CG Society (the Computer Graphics Society) held a contest back in 2008 that challenged contestants to come up with innovative concepts for buildings of the future. Predictably, some of them look like what you would expect in a sci-fi movie. What’s most interesting is that a lot of them incorporate water into the design. Between these futuristic concepts and the plethora of aquatic architecture projects that have been springing up all around the world, it’s pretty obvious that mankind’s next breakthrough will involve lots of H2O.
Let’s kick it off with my personal favorite, a water plant design that is suspended off the side of a waterfall. It’s reasonable to suspect that many of our advancements will come from fortifying structures so that we can arrange them in bizarre ways. Sideways buildings? Hanging aquariums? No problem.
Next up we have this ship-like building, which seems to almost sail along the precipice of a waterfall. It’s an absolutely beautiful building and the overlook would provide an unparalleled view of the waterfalls below. The big problem with an idea like this is that most waterfalls are protected by the local government or reserved as state parks. It might prove tough finding a government that would let you rip up the rock of their beloved natural wonder.
What makes this next building so remarkable isn’t its location, but its shape. I can’t even begin to imagine how somebody would go about navigating a place like that. You would need some sort of elevator on a spiraling track, I think, that could just as easily go vertically, diagonally, and horizontally. And if we can manage to build a spiral skyscraper, then it’s also reasonable to believe that we might be able to build a spiral aquarium. We tend to think of aquariums as enormous boxes, but that’s just because rectangular aquariums are the easiest and cheapest to make. If it struck your fancy you could work with aquarium experts like the folks at Okeanos Group to develop circular, spherical, or spiral aquariums — if not now, then in the near future.