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Silt Lake City: A City Floating on the Nile River


city lakeThe River Nile in ancient times was shown to flood the Nile valley area during certain seasons and served to irrigate the land and provide needed nutrients for farming. The construction of dams along the river in modern times has all but done away with this useful resource, but a new architectural solution promises to provide an even more eco-friendly solution – Silt Lake City.

The proposed project would build a floating metropolis, or “hydropolis” consisting of businesses, residences, energy generators and agriculture, all sitting on the water and helping control the water depth in the different seasons.

Students Marion Ottmann, Anne-Hina Mallette and Margaux Leycuras put the Silt Lake City prize-winning architecture project together for the Foundation Jacques Rougerie. The building of the Aswan dam has altered the seasonal flooding of the Nile valley. Though it has helped control the damaging floods, it has also led to silt collection behind the dam with erosion also being caused by the sea’s salt water.

Silt Lake City proposes a solution to this problem with the construction of modular cities on the Lake Nasser. Surrounded by a sea wall which would act as protection as well as allowing channels back to the shore, this would make Lake Nasser a “hydopolis”, floating on a reservoir 200 meters deep.

The system would include opening the dam during wet seasons to allow controlled flooding for irrigation and nutrient supply and closure of the dam to preserve water levels. This system would thus put an end to the damaging floods of years gone by, but still provide a means of sustaining life in the Nile valley.

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