Hi Octavian - I was evicted briefly, but I am back now…thanks for your support!
I’m afraid I haven’t looked into this for almost 20 years. In the intervening years information technology has progressed rapidly, however architectural technology hasn’t advanced at the same pace. Consequently, I think that many of my original proposals would still be valid. The sea can be a hostile environment, so the bulk of my settlement was to be constructed from concrete, for longevity. The settlement was also protected by a Teflon coated canopy around the perimeter. This would be semi-translucent and created a ‘nautical’ appearance. I also designed some individual light-weight structures at the centre of the community (gymnasium and cinema etc), as these would be protected to a large degree by the surrounding buildings. These were designed with glass and steel components, in a ‘high-tech’ style, to facilitate assembly (and replacement); however unfortunately I drew these on the drawing board, so I haven’t got any images to post here.
What would keep the core population there? It’s likely going to be a weekend resort for everyone. Aren’t gas rig workers supplied with a place to sleep on or near the rig? Speaking of location, there’s many youtube videos of ships being tossed around, waves overtopping them, and being twisted, and i see no reason your long thin design would not be treated even worse by the same seastate conditions. How would your floating place be a port? Isn’t a port a place ships dock so those aboard can go somewhere? Didn’t people with ships say “there’s a place on land there we can go places from, lets make a port there!”, rather than the other way around? Businesses are attracted to places they can charge more for goods and services than it really costs to provide those goods and services, and you have not shown how your floating place is an ideal business location to overcharge for anything.
Seems to me it would be easier and cheaper to buy a small mountain range anywhere on earth, where there’s no minerals to mine and it’s impossible to farm, and build your town there. Locations like that are quite plentiful in most nations. In fact, in the usa, there are whole towns for sale, and more you can prolly make an offer for, like deep Appalachia, the high Rockies, nearly anywhere in Alaska, the southern edges of Libya, eastern Morocco, inland Indonesia or Japan, the karsk regions of China, central anywhere in the Scandinavian countries, and then there’s Greenland, etc etc.
There’s lots of unpopulated land where farming cannot happen, you could establish a core population, export solar electricity, and not need to overengineer the buildings to handle unrestricted loading and 30ft waves. There was kinda such a proposal to do such a thing in the north Africa countries bordering the Med.
To recap, your physical design lacks seaworthyness and a stated reason to be.
Thank you for your comments.
Remember my project is only a concept, however, I would like to add the following:
- The site for my prototype was chosen, in consultation with British Gas, as it was in relatively shallow waters and near to the gas fields. They thought it was a good idea that workers would be able to live with their families, close to their point of work (rather than doing shifts).
- My concept was designed within a UK context. Britain is a densely populated country and land is extremely expensive. This is exacerbated by planning laws and ‘land banking’ by developers; and if the sea levels rise, as predicted, thousands more people will be displaced from their existing homes.
- I agree that any floating settlement would have to be economically viable. However the UK governement currently spends millions of pounds on maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure connecting our existing towns and cities (the estimated cost of the HS2 railway is £55 billion), and it also needs to build many more new towns and cities, just to cope with the exisitng demand.
- As an island nation, I think the sea offers real possibilities for relieving the pressure on the land.
My hypothesis is that oceanic settlements would be a far more sustainable way of solving the housing crisis.
The erosion of the coastline, particularly on the east side of the UK, was one of the inspirations behind my concept for a city in the sea, in 1997. Recent events following the ‘Beast from the East’ have further highlighted this problem, with more housing and land being lost to the ocean. The issue has now being highlighted in an article by the CEO of the Environment Agency, admitting that we cannot protect all the coastline and we need to think of alternative solutions…