ocean urbanization


client: evolo 2011 skyscraper competition
realisation: design competition
location: the oceaan

Water is one of the most basic human needs. A view of our planet from space shows 70,9 % of earths’ surface is covered by oceans. We perceive oceans as the border of the land, urbanization and human activity. A challenge to research the possibilities of a skyscraper city in the ocean. This project investigates how colonizing and exploring the ocean can provide us with new working and living possibilities. The challenge is to design a skyscraper that is related to the underwater world as much as to the sky.

The self-sufficient, independent unit is designed to obtain energy by ocean thermal energy conversion. The stabilizer underneath the water keeps the building in the right position and provides cold ocean water [5°C (41ºF)] up to the structure. The advance of a structure that’s half under the water and a half exposed to the heat of the sun, is used in the cooling/heating system, by simply providing a circulation between those two different areas. 

The rich biodiversity can lead to knew pharmaceutical inventions. According to the first Census of Marine Life, the worlds oceans may contain over 750,000 species which are yet to be discovered. The structure provides enough square feets to include laboratories, water tanks, and recreation facilities for the users. With other units of the same type it can form a net like a city. It is home too 6000 people, a recreation space, and a hotel for visitors. The vast number of additional facilities (cinemas, hospital, fitness clubs) to care about the users health and well-being. You can enjoy a 1,5-mile-walk on the ramp up the structure, and indulge in Nordic walking. 

The most important aspect of the design, is learning how we can use the seas and oceans more efficiently, developing a huge spectrum of opportunities that oceans can provide. It is also a vision of a new type of urbanisation, which can bring us to new forms of recreation. A facility without pollution, traffic noise and congestion of the land areas.

urban designHeleen van Heel