Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fixed & Floating Cities: 5 Futuristic Artifical Island Designs

From army forts turned into pirate radio stations and oil platforms converted into micro-nations, the notion of living full-time on the high seas is nothing new. However, these amazing award-winning designs from the recent Seasteading contest float in front of us five jaw-dropping possibilities for the future of urban life on the sea unlike any artificial islands you have ever seen (including this recycled floating paradise island).
The winning design is a colorful and vibrant work of imaginative urbanism, depicting a world on the water not unlike life on land with winding paths, city squares, mixed uses and traditional architecture. Like a slice lifted from the heart of an old European town this Swimming City concept sits on four pillars with room to pass beneath it and the remnants of its removal showing on all sides.
Almost more a luxury resort hotel than a city on the sea, the winner of the best picture award certainly warrants its prize for the compelling visual cacophony of the above rendering. The image shows off tropical beach-like edges with premium condos jutting out to overlook the water and a dense core of mixed-use functions.
Deemed to have the most personality, this runner-up design is as much about change over time as it is about a fixed work of construction. The idea is a simple, modular mixed-use city-on-a-platform that has the freedom to evolve and expand as needed – forever a work of urban design in progress.
In the realm of aesthetics this design was elected the winner, perhaps in part for the way it shows off its green design strategies in the look of the structure itself. Shaped to channel wind, bring in solar energy and passively cool (as well as feed) the residential population within, this enclosed city structure is eco-friendly in appearance as well as in practice.
It may be no surprise that this last design won the peoples’ choice award. It recalls both the form of a modern city square as well as the oil rigs and other converted architectural remnants of the world’s oceans we have come to associate with creative conversions and liberation from the laws of society and government alike.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Self-sufficient Oasis Tower can feed 40,000 people each year

Eco Factor: Mixed-use tower harvests solar and wind energy.

The Oasis Tower for Zabeel Park, Dubai is an answer to the rise in population and the dearth in the amount of land available for farming. Designed by Rahul Surin, the tower would provide a solution for urban farming and sustainable housing. The architect believes that the Oasis Tower will be able to provide food enough to feed 40,000 people each year.

Apart from vertical farming techniques, the mixed-use tower will employ the latest in renewable energy technologies incorporating micro vertical-axis wind turbines and a photovoltaic E.T.F.E façade that satisfy most of the building’s energy demands.
The façade’s renewable energy systems will be optimized for maximum energy generation. The tower’s top will be designed in the form of a hexagram, which is seen as the combination of the negative and positive nullifying each other and thus claiming equilibrium.

Via: Vertical Farm