In order to face the challenges posed by climate change and its consequent rise of sea levels, Rotterdam has begun the construction of some interesting floating structures. At the forefront of this project for climate-proof architecture is the Floating Pavilion which is made up of three bubble-like hemispheres located in the old harbor of Rotterdam.
Initiated by Rotterdam Climate Proof (under Rotterdam Climate Initiative), the pavilion which was designed for mixed use by PublicDomain and Deltasync architects represents innovation and sustainable climate-proof architecture.
Rotterdam, aiming to become World Capital of CO2 with 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions, also aspires to adapt to sea level rises. Beginning with the Floating Pavilion which currently hosts events and exhibitions, the idea is to construct floating homes to cater for the need for self-sufficient and flexible climate-proof housing.
Designed by Deltasync and PublicDomain, and initiated by Rotterdam Climate Proof, the Floating Pavilions were built by Dura Vermeer, and each of the hemispheres has a height of 40 feet with the floor covering an area the comparable to four tennis courts. Constructed from a tough anti-corrosive plastic which is about 100 times lighter than glass, the substance, called ETFE, makes the structure appear translucent.
Air conditioning and heating for the shelter is provided by the water and solar energy, used only in required areas of the structure. Toilet water for the pavilion is purified in the pavilion and returned to the water afterwards without any detrimental effects. The structure is scheduled to remain in Rijnhaven until 2015 due to its accessibility and calm waters.
Rotterdam plans to construct more of these floating structures, for use as living quarters, working and recreation, with the more than 13,000 climate-proof housing to be built by 2040 having about 1,200 built on water. As a realistic and innovative way to cater for the future’s challenges, these floating homes will be an attractive sight for Rotterdam in years to come.