Are Floating Buildings the Future of Architecture?

By Ariana Nieves,
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)

Image of building on waterEver wondered if it was possible to live on water? An architectural studio named MAST has developed a project called “Land on Water” that has created an adaptable solution to building on water. The project boasts that with this system, anything can be constructed; floating homes, small parks, campsites, community centers, and even saunas. The plan is a response to rising sea levels and increased urban flooding potential caused by climate change.

How it Works

The system is based on flat-pack floating foundations that are easy to transport and can be assembled in various ways. The design is inspired by an ancient technology called gabion construction. Gabion construction utilizes mesh cages filled with debris to produce low-cost walls or foundations. For this project, the flat-pack cages are made from reinforced recycled plastic and filled with upcycled floatation supplies that are locally sourced. The floatation materials support the weight of the structure on top, which makes the design adaptable to fit any weight. The intuitive design of “Land on Water” generates several benefits and sets it apart from other sustainable floating options out there.

The Benefits 

  1. Promotes Biodiversity 

The buoyant foundations can offer excellent habitats for crustaceans and fish while also providing seaweed and Mollusca with an anchor point. The floating bases can do this because they are created without toxic materials like anti-fouling paints that are used to treat steel and concrete foundations. The system is helping people on the water’s surface while also enriching the biodiversity of the ecosystem below.

  1. It’s Flexible

The “Land on Water” project can be easily transported and assembled in various configurations across the globe, making it highly adaptable to any building need. Its malleable nature is unique as other models, such as plastic platoons and polystyrene-filled concrete foundations, are inflexible and unsustainable.

  1. Encourages Community Growth

The modular design of the system organically encourages community growth and development. The system is easy to construct and can be shaped into any building needed for a community. The project provides a sustainable and functional alternative to other conceptualized floating cities that are rigid and outdated.

The “Land on Water” project could be a viable future option for climate-resilient and adaptable living spaces. The design is a big step forward in the realm of floating construction and could lead to a new type of “off-grid” living.


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