Thesis project: aquatecture go with the flow

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Raza Muhammad #35
"More than anything else water is a source of life and the great symbol of life. All life depends on water; nothing escapes its influence, and nothing lives without it."
Charles W. Moore
Human is a combination of spirit, mind and body. Just as the human body needs food, his mind and soul need elements to give him peace. In urban society that tall buildings and streets and machine lives have surrounded everywhere, effects of beauty and art, is the best refuge for tired and peace-loving soul of man.
Water movement and music has a considerable role in more manifestation of green space. Water can be designed in the form of streams and springs for the quiet and serene places and in the form of waterfall and large jets for crowded and busy places. Water, as one of the main effects of life has long been interested in different cultures, as in many civilizations, we could find legends about emergence and development or relationship between water with the birth of the universe. A summary of the myths in different cultures is mentioned below:
Sumerians believed that at the beginning of life, there was nothing but water and all things are obtained from water: In the beginning of the life, there was only Nammo goddess that meant the first waters. This Goddess bearded a son and daughter. The name of her son was god of sky and the name of her daughter was goddess of Earth. In the Babylonian myth, goddess of the Ta’ame was introduced instead of Nammo goddess as water goddess.

Also, Egyptian myth pointed to Ra’ goddess that was the first goddess that came out of the first waters and after leaving, other goddesses were created. In Greek myth, ocean is introduced as goddess of first waters and she is the first goddess that has created the universe.

The Turkish Online Journal of Design, Art and Communication - TOJDAC April 2016 Special Edition
Water is not only crucial on creating a viable living condition for living organisms but also directly crucial on the existence of the living organisms themselves. Human beings are consisted of around 75% water. 25% of the human body is solid matter and 75% is water states. Water gives life but also claims life. The destructive power of running water can be described by explaining how river comes to exist. In essence, there is nothing wrong with this duality of the nature of water, for one to live eventually imply one that would die. Water is the ultimate agent that completes the circle of life. One cannot exist without the other. While being an agent of destruction, water also provides life.


Our world is drastically changing. Temperatures are rising, skies over cities are blanketed with smoke, and melting glaciers are raising sea levels at alarming rates. Although the destruction we face is already threatening the quality of life for billions around the world, it could just be the beginning. What is projected to come in the future could be catastrophic. Humans rely on heavy engineering, tidal barriers and riverside and coastal defences to protect our built environment from flooding. The desire to live adjacent to water reflects our cultural heritage and historic settlement patterns, and we continue to build on flood plains and other flooding-prone areas. However, coastal defences, such as the river barriers have proven ineffective when it comes to a drastic rise in sea level. In order to defend our communities against rising sea levels and flooding, long-term approaches to building design must be considered that will provide alternative dwelling opportunities for coastal residents.
As much as 90% of the 100 largest cities in the world are located on water. Furthermore, these cities have a substantial amount of water in the city itself, in the form of lakes, rivers, canals, harbors, bays or open oceans. The high complexity of the modern city requires a high level of flexibility so that changing special requirements can find a place within the existing structures. Flexibility can include fitting in a considerable amount of open space, or space that has low economic value, such as building on water.
Instead of retreating inland, adaptation strategies should be devised. This proposal will explore how homes and cities should respond to sea level increase through the implementation of a new architectural typology ‘AQUATECTURE’ (Architectural Adaptation to the rising sea levels). In addition to adaptable building design, supporting systems will be integrated throughout affected areas. Systems such as alternative energy production, and water filtration zones will be incorporated. With the help of Aquatecture, alternatives to abandoning our coastal cities are provided. Due to the flexibility of site location that Aquatecture allows, this intervention can serve as a long- term solution and standard of living within current and projected flood prone areas around the world.
Solutions will include waterproof materials and the protection of vital utilities, a barge that acts as the buoyant foundation, and vertical guidance poles attached to the barge that provide resistance to lateral forces from wind and water. The development of an amphibious community is a long-term mitigation strategy that will minimize the potential risk of flooding in coastal residences while maintaining public health and wellbeing.
As the literature review will show, a detailed analysis of buildings adapting to the dynamic conditions of zones prone to flooding doesn’t exist. Hence, the thesis will contribute to fill this gap in knowledge. This research will perform a systematic analysis of contemporary housing typologies for flood-prone zones, contributing to a discussion still underdeveloped in the discipline of architecture and providing an array of ideas for future development in places affected by tidal flooding. The research is based on the hypothesis that a more flexible architecture is emerging with the ubiquity of floods and that houses designed through the lenses of flexibility are able to minimize the distress of affected populations, contributing to achieving resilience in flood prone-zones. Therefore, a deeper analysis of such typologies can provide insights on how to better design and adapt built form for the increasing presence of water.

Based on an increasing population settling near water bodies and the natural flooding conditions related to those, this research adopts the idea that static protective systems are not always capable of coping with severe flooding events. Hence, in order to protect human environments to flooding, architecture must become flexible and by considering Fluidity as a parameter in building construction in Pakistan. The main idea is to understand how a building, in terms behave like fluids. What are the elements that can be modified to achieve a free-flowing behavior & how this behavior can affect the building typology & the built environment?


  1. Thales of Miletus (c. 620 B.C.E.— c. 546 B.C.E.)

Thales says that it is water'. 'it' is the nature, the originating principle. For Thales, this nature was a single material substance, water.

It was Aristotle's opinion that Thales may have observed, 'that the nurture of all creatures is moist, and that warmth itself is generated from moisture and lives by it; and that from which all things come to be is their first principle' (Metaph. 983 b23-25).

  1. Heraclitus of Ephesus (530-470 BC)

Heraclitus’ philosophy is a good starting point for anyone concerned with change in life. Heraclitus said that life is like a river. The peaks and troughs, pits and swirls, are all are part of the ride. Do as Heraclitus would – go with the flow. Enjoy the ride, as wild as it may be.

Heraclitus’ vision of life is clear in his epigram on the river of flux: ‘We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not’ (B49a). One interpretation of this passage is that Heraclitus is saying we can’t step into the same river twice. This is because the river is constantly changing. If I stroll down the banks of the Danube, the water before my eyes is not the same water from moment to moment. If the river is this water, it follows that the Danube is not the same river from moment to moment. We step into the Danube; we step out of it again. When we step into it a second time, we step into different water and thus a different river.

Moreover, we step into and out of the river as different beings.


Water and Psychology

Human is a combination of spirit, mind and body. Just as the human body needs food, his mind and soul need elements to give him peace. In urban society that tall buildings and streets and machine lives have surrounded everywhere, effects of beauty and art, is the best refuge for tired and peace-loving soul of man.

Water movement and music has a considerable role in more manifestation of green space. Water can be designed in the form of streams and springs for the quiet and serene places and in the form of waterfall and large jets for crowded and busy places.

The Turkish Online Journal of Design, Art and Communication - TOJDAC April 2016 Special Edition

Water as the creator
Water is the very element that makes life possible on this planet. It essentially is what distinguishes this planet from any others and could be the one most important element that characterizes earth. Seventy percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water and this surface water acts as the cooling and heating system for the planet. By changing its state from solid to liquid to vapor, water stabilizes the temperature for the planet, hence making it possible for mankind to survive the heat wave constantly being generated by the sun.

Water is not only crucial on creating a viable living condition for living organisms but also directly crucial on the existence of the living organisms themselves. Human beings are consisted of around 75% water. 25% of the human body is solid matter and 75% is water states.

( F. Batmanghelidj, MD, Your Body’s Many Cries For Water,1998)
Water as the Destroyer
Water gives life but also claims life. The destructive power of running water can be described by explaining how river comes to exist. What starts off as a single stream of water dripping from high ground to low ground eventually joins other streams and by using gravitational force, forms the river.

Although river provided life line for many habitats along its path, the river also has claimed many lives and will continue to do so.

Running water’s destructive power is fast and quick washing away everything in its path. But standing water’s destructive power can be just as devastating as running water in a very different way. With time, water has the power to dissolve hence destroy anything. By decaying and destroying existing object, water also creates bacteria and fungi. In essence, there is nothing wrong with this duality of the nature of water, for one to live eventually imply one that would die. Water is the ultimate agent that completes the circle of life. One cannot exist without the other. While being an agent of destruction, water also provides life.

Source: – see bibliography for detail

The concept of fluidity was present since the architecture was born. Although the idea wasn’t so clear & prominent but the early man when started constructing shelters had a certain understanding of the concept which could be defined as ‘Fluidity & Architecture’, where the building & structures were designed & constructed had involved water (The first fluid matter known to man at that time) somewhere or the other. If we look back in history, The Egyptian designers while constructing their palaces always made sure that there was a flow of water in the interiors which would come from the river Nile so that the water can be used for domestic chores and also could be used for cooling the interiors. As time went by & architecture bloomed, this concept of including the use of water in buildings took different forms by different designers & builders all over the world.
Contemporary architecture suggests that fluidity is something which can be used beyond the aspects of functionality part of a building. Till now only the physical effects of the water was used inside the buildings but what happens if we design a building to behave like water. What happens if a building gets designed in such a way that the functionality, aesthetics, landscaping etc., resembles the behavior of water or any other fluids. These questions were the initial start of a new style of architecture which is fluidity in architecture.
With all the questions that started this style, more questions emerged as in How will this concept be applied, How can buildings be designed to resemble fluidity, how will those buildings be constructed, how will it affect the building psychology but the most important question that still needed to be answered was Why we need fluidity in architecture?
As architecture evolved, architects & designers were on a hunt of uniqueness in their designs. That is one of the major reasons that this concept got introduced. The idea was simple: Get inspired, be innovative & design unique. Though this idea initiated the evolution of the concept, the derivative was to find how much an architect can explore with the spaces. How much a form can be twisted & manipulated by an architect. The initial approach towards design was inevitably ‘Function follows Form’ instead of ‘Form follows Function’.
The main challenge with this concept was how will the design become functional with the form. Traditional architectural methods involved a process in which the functionality of the design was understood thoroughly before the form was worked out. That gave a clear-cut definition of the design with the different levels of manipulations happening at every stage of process. But in this case the form is developed first, then the spaces.
To work out unpredictable conditions with forms and spaces that normally would be difficult to visualize, and to create, observe and analyze those unpredictable conditions, software’s became the tool instead of pen and paper. Through software’s one can create 3d models efficiently and while modifying can see the changes happening which gives an edge to the architect.

What is climate change?
A change of climate that is directly or indirectly related to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability over comparable time periods.

What are the effects and impacts of climate change?

There is growing global consensus that climate change is humankind’s greatest threat in modern times and is likely to have profound consequences for socio-economic sectors such as health, food production, energy consumption and security and natural resource management. The harmful impacts of this global warming effect are already manifesting themselves around the world in the form of extreme weather events like storms, tornadoes, floods and droughts, all of which have been mounting in frequency and intensity. As a result, the world today suffers around 400-500 natural disasters on average in a year, up from 125 in the 1980s (Disaster Risk Reduction: Global Review 2007). 

According to the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report, the evidence of predicted impacts of climate change is slowly unfolding.  Crop yield growth rates are declining in most parts of the world, partially as a consequence of rising temperatures, while increases in prevalence of climate-induced diseases have also been recorded. There is also evidence of accelerating recession of most glaciers on Earth, rainfall variability and changes in marine ecosystems. Another serious threat arising from climate change is to freshwater availability which is projected to decline especially in large river basins and adversely affect more than a billion people by the 2050s 

Climate change is also likely to have wide-ranging and mostly adverse impacts on human health. The projected increase in the duration and frequency of heat waves is expected to increase mortality rates as a result of heat stress, especially in areas where people are not equipped to deal with warmer temperatures. To a lesser extent, increases in winter temperatures in high latitudes could lead to decreases in mortality rates. Climate change is also expected to lead to increases in the potential transmission of vector borne diseases, including malaria, dengue, and yellow fever, extending the range of organisms such as insects that carry these diseases into the temperate zone, including parts of the United States, Europe, and Asia. 

How is Pakistan affected by climate change?

Pakistan contributes very little to the overall Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, but remains severely impacted by the negative effects of climate change by the following ways:

  1. Glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding will affect water resources within the next two to three decades. This will be followed by decreased river flows over time as glaciers recede.

  2. Freshwater availability is also projected to decrease which will lead to biodiversity loss and reduce availability of freshwater for the population.

  3. Coastal areas bordering the Arabian Sea in the south of Pakistan will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and in some cases, the rivers.

  4. Being a predominantly agriculture economy, climate change is estimated to decrease crop yields in Pakistan which in turn will affect livelihoods and food production. Combining the decreased yields with the current rapid population growth and urbanization in the country, the risk of hunger and food security will remain high. 

  5. Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diseases primarily associated with floods and droughts are expected to rise. Increases in coastal water temperatures would exacerbate the abundance of cholera. 

  6. The impact of climate change will also aggravate the existing social inequalities of resource use and intensify social factors leading to instability, conflicts, displacement of people and changes in migration patterns.

Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise for Pakistan is estimated at 1.1 mm per year (mm/year) from 1856–2000 along the

Karachi coast (Figure 6). According to the IPCC AR5 Working Group I report, global mean sea level

rose 0.19 meter (m) over the period 1901–2010. The rate of change was markedly higher during

the later period: the mean rate of the global average sea level rise was 1.7 mm/year between 1901 and 2010, and 3.2 mm/year between 1993 and 2010. The change in sea level was due to two major processes of thermal expansion of ocean from global warming and glacier mass loss.

In the past century, the average mean sea level rose to 1.1 mm/year for Pakistan. It is difficult to project sea level rise (SLR) by the end of 2100 for Pakistan, since data is limited at the country level. However, the sea level rise projections at the global and regional levels can be helpful in capturing the extent of the risk Pakistan will be exposed to in the future. IPCC AR5 notes a global

mean SLR of 0.2–0.6 m by the end of this century, whereas for South Asia, of which Pakistan’s coast is a part of due to the shared Arabian Sea border, 0.7 m (with range between 0.42 and 1.12 m and a 90% level of confidence, footnote 21) SLR is projected by 2100 on average, relative to the pre-industrial level (Figure 12). Future sea level rise will most likely affect the low-lying coastal areas south of Karachi toward Keti Bander and Indus River delta.

Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Areas
It is expected that sea level impacts on the coastal areas and its resources may be large as already

evident in the inundation of low-lying areas, degradation of mangrove forests, declining drinking

water quality, and decrease in fish and shrimp productivity.50 Pakistan has a 1,046 km-long coastline that stretches along the border of the Arabian Sea in the South of the country falling

within the administrative boundaries of the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. The Sindh coastal

zone’s vulnerability is considered higher than that of the Balochistan coastal areas because of its tidal flat topography and higher population concentration with marked industrial activities along coastal areas, such as Karachi. A 2-m SLR is expected to submerge 7,500 km2 in the Indus Delta. The low-lying Balochistan coastal areas, such as Pasni, may also be impacted by SLR since the mean sea level in the coastal town of Pasni is about 1.4 m. However, the Balochistan coast is tectonically active and is uplifted at the rate of 1–2 mm/year due to subduction of the Indian Ocean plate.51 The rise in sea level is also expected to increase the rate of erosion along the coastal belt. The creeks in the delta regions such as Hajamaro, Ghoro, Kaanhir, and Kahhar are the active erosion hotspots with erosion rate ranging from 31 m/year to 176 m/year. The south side of the mouth of Ghoro Creek shows the highest erosion frequency of 176 m/year with a retreat rate of 425 m from 2006 to 2009.52 Furthermore, the delta region is both shrinking and sinking due to lack of sedimentation and subsidence. There is 80% reduction in the river sediment compared to the early 20th century due to extensive damming of the Indus River.53 The current rate of sediment aggradations of 1 mm/year no longer exceeds relative projected SLR and this sediment retention is considered as one of the primary causes of the effective SLR in nearly 70% of the world’s deltas, including the Indus Delta.54 Due to threats it faces, the Indus is ranked third among the global deltas in the greater risk scale (footnote 53).
The delta sinking or subsidence process is natural and generally ranges from less than 1 mm/year

to more than 10 mm/year. This rate is exceeded due to groundwater and petroleum extraction due to humans’ activities. The subsidence rate for Indus Delta is not established yet, but deltas in Asia have the highest rate of 2.1 mm/year subsidence. A seminal study conducted by Ericson et al (2006) extrapolated the baseline effective sea level rise condition from 2000 to 2050 to estimate potential vulnerability to sea level incursion into deltas. It showed that 0.79% of the Indus Delta population is at risk with 2.73% of the delta area potentially lost by 2050.

50 Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. 2011. Climate Risk and Adaptation Country Profile. Washington DC:

World Bank.

51 T. M. A. Khan and M. M. Rabbani. Sea Level Monitoring and Study of Sea Level Variations Along Pakistan Coast: A

Component of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. 2000.


52 WWF Pakistan. 2012. Delta-Wide Hazard Mapping - A Case Study of Keti Bundar, Kharo Chann, and Jiwani. Karachi. ( Accessed on June 5 2015).

53 J. P. M. Syvtiksi et al. 2009. Sinking Delta Due to Human Activities. Nature Geoscience. Macmillan Publishers. 2. pp. 681–


54 J. P. Ericson et al., 2006. Effective Sea Level Rise and Deltas: Causes of Change and Human Dimension Implication.

Global and Planetary Change. 50 (1-2). pp. 63–82.

Analysing New Perspectives on Flood Design
“The movement of water along a vertical scale draws attention to the subtle configurations of topography and the consequential horizontal extent of flooding. During a flood, the vertical section gives rise to new formations and understandings of a city. Today, flooding has become synonymous with the impact of global sea level rise, and the threat of rising waters has taken on a new sense of urgency. Studying the planar transformation that takes place during high-water events is an opportunity to reinvent and redesign the twenty-first century city and consider new notions of urban and ecological development.”

(Nordenson and Seavitt 2011, 44)

A New Approach to Built Form:

An Architecture Perspective
Designing for the presence of water is a theme that, although recent, has rapidly consolidated in the literature. Several studies have been conducted trying to understand, categorize and give advice as to how new developments in flood-prone zones should take place, as previously presented. However, exploring mainly the fields of urban and landscape design, none of them provides an in-depth analysis of the implications of environments with changing water levels in architecture.
The challenges of designing to withstand flooding have been tackled by architects throughout the world. In the United Kingdom, the office Baca Architects have proposed the “Amphibious Home” as an alternative to withstand floods from the Thames River. The house sits on a platform located on the top of hollow pontoons, and, whenever the level of water rises, the entire building floats (“Amphibious Home” 2013).

In Australia, three levels compose the “New Queenslander,” a house designed by Cox Rayner Architects, each playing a different role in the event of a flood (Rajagopal 2013).

In the United States, the “FLOAT House”, designed by Morphosis for a post-Katrina New Orleans, presents a floating building connected to flexible infrastructure and able to prevent the material loss resultant from major flood events (“FLOAT House” 2012).
Solutions vary from preventing property damage, to allowing affected populations to remain in their homes during a flood. The emergent built forms are characterized by a greater flexibility of their elements, generating structures that are raised, buoyant or permeable, offering a range of solutions to cope with the frequent presence of water. Designing to give room for water indicates the establishment of unique architectural proposals, which extend beyond the development of technical solutions. It defines a new type of spatial organization, redefining how inhabitants relate to their surroundings through the arrangement of the different elements that compose built form.
Nonetheless, buildings designed for flood-prone zones often appear in current literature only to exemplify larger urban forms, superficially described in order to portray specific urban patterns for settlements near major water bodies, such as in “Amphibious Housing in the Netherlands(Nillesen and Singelenberg 2011).
Additionally, architecture for flooding often appears merely listed at the end of flood-prevention catalogs, such as “Facing Up to Rising Sea Levels” and “Climate Change Toolkit 07 Designing for Flood Risk” (RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) 2010; Curtis 2009). In the book “Design for Flooding” (2011), Watson and Adams further describe architectural solutions when conveying strategies to prevent material loss in face of flood events. The assessment of architecture is, however, limited to an analysis of United States’ building codes. Focusing on the study of houses designed for zones prone to flooding, this research fills a gap in current literature, developing a framework for a thorough analysis of architecture and offering suggestions for its development in environments affected by recurrent flood events.
The research fulfils the following objectives:

  1. The basic aim of the project is the initiative to the floating architecture in Pakistan.

  2. Designing a habitat that could serve as a long-term solution for continuous sea level rise. Its not only about making an intervention for a separate community but defining systems to make self sufficient & independent community that could survive on its own due to flexibility, potentials, location & technology. Because in the future there will be fewer resources to fulfil the necessities of growing population.

  3. To encourage a paradigm shift in architecture, from the exclusive implementation of static protective structures toward the design of flexible solutions that allow for the temporary presence of water.

  4. Defining architectural design parameters according to the conditions & limitations of the environment in order to set the fundamentals for parametric architecture approach to a flexible design which in terms appear and behave like fluids.

Keywords: Floating Architecture, Adaptive Design, Parametric Architecture, Sustainability, Climate Change.


  1. The project will help in building flexible and adaptive community that will both respond to the rising sea level and water inspired habitat.

  2. The project will be a combination of biomimicry, Architecture, & flood prone community.

  3. Data collection on the principles of floating/buoyancy, and how they help in designing floating habitats.

  4. To use techniques of parametric architecture to easily manipulate and modify forms to achieve fluidity and flexibility in the building masses.

  5. Providing the details of alternative energy production and water filtration zones.


  1. Establishing adequate technical systems to meet human comfort.

  2. Ensuring the safety.

  3. Offering an adequate transportation system to carry people to the structure or proposing suitable entrances according to the whole project.

  4. Meeting all the physiological requirements of occupants.

After selection of project it is important to make the method which can help me out to the right direction and lead me to the understanding and designing of the project. So my methodology divided into given below sequence;

  1. Research/Data collection

  2. Case studies

  3. Research on floating architecture

  4. Background study on issues and their solutions.

  5. Site analysis & Observations

  6. Design process

  7. Final Design

In “Frame and Generic Space,” Bernard Leupen states that:

"One way of gaining insight into the process of designing is by analysing existing work. Such analysis we designate with the term 'design analysis.' If design is a creative process that produces something that did not exist previously, analysis begins with the outcome of the process and then attempts to get at the underlying ideas and principles." (Leupen 2006).

This thesis is based on the idea sustained by Leupen (Leupen 2006) that “much of the knowledge in architecture is stored in buildings and their design.” Hence, the study focuses on a Multiple Case-Study Analysis, developed in two phases. In the first phase I collected and analysed contemporary architectural solutions for housing in flood-prone zones, developed both in architectural competitions/exhibitions (Amphibious Living, Netherlands; Flood-proof Houses for the Future, United Kingdom; and Rising Currents, New York City) and in-built projects (Make it Right Foundation, New Orleans).
To initiate analysis each case study will be re-drawn in 2D & 3D, followed by the creation of an exploded view diagram. Hence the exploded view diagram will become crucial for the understanding, not only of the individual parts, but also of the relationship among parts and the structure as a whole.
In the second phase I will compare the data collected, synthesize it in the form of a matrix (Appendix). Using the matrix, I will be able to define which architectural elements become more flexible in buildings designed for flood-prone zones. The study of the different combinations between flexible and static architectural elements will signalizee alternative forms for human inhabitation of the floodplain. This examination indicates that certain combinations directly relate to concepts of flood resilience, going beyond the creation of structures physically able to withstand flooding.
This analysis shows that, when zoning regulations permit residential development in the floodplain, building codes must be adapted to allow for responsive design strategies.
The forces of water are reshaping our world. Flood events, a natural phenomenon that is part of the history of cities adjacent to large water bodies, are increasingly becoming an inevitable reality affecting communities around the globe. As temperatures increase, rainy seasons become longer and more intense, and sea level rises, in combination with large widespread urbanization built upon often miscalculated, misplaced, and poorly maintained protective infrastructures, the condition of recurrent inundations will only become more acute. It is not realistic to consider that populations will simply abandon places they have inhabited for generations, even if threatened by natural hazards. It is also not likely that development will cease to occur in such borderlands. Hence it becomes imperative that we focus on strategies for adapting both new and consolidated urban forms in a time when climate extremes reshape floodplains, pushing its boundaries further inland.
In order to instigate changes in building codes and planning regulations, architects must continue to work on design alternatives that can be tested in order to challenge and alter the regulations that currently define development in the floodplain. Solutions that address both current regulations and additional measures, such as those implemented by Morphosis’s “Float House,” seem to be ideal to this end.
With Aquatecture, we can provide the necessary safeguarding of rising sea levels, flooding, and storm surges. Individuals, families, and communities can continue to inhabit coastlines, and cities provided these adaptation strategies are implemented. Through Aquatecture, coastal cities are provided with new options to mitigate against sea level increase, and have the opportunities for non-threatening co-habitation with water.
Amphibious buildings are a proven, low-cost, low-impact flood protection strategy that gives a community enhanced flood resilience and improves its ability to recover from disaster. When flooding occurs, the water dwelling vertically rises with the water levels to remain safely above water then settles back into place as the water recedes.


Location: Philippines

Architect: Michele Puzzolante

Project cost: Cost Estimate $ 125,000.

Philosophy: This concept Solar Floating Resort offers unique hospitality, a combination of a yacht and submarine that takes advantage of the sun to generate its own energy, non-polluting and works in harmony with its natural surroundings.
CASE STUDY 2: Buoyant Foundation Project

Water Type: Salt Water

House Type: Amphibious

Buoyancy Materials: Sub-frame w/ EPS Blocks

Advantages: Retain existing house, retrofit is cheaper than static elevation

Disadvantages: Visible EPS foundation system, height restrictions

Location: First ome homes will be installing on the sea shore of Dubai.

Project cost: Each ome fully equipped at a cost in excess of $22 million.

Project date: Sales for the Omes are reported to begin in 2013/2014 with construction of the first Ome set to begin 2012.

Architect: Joint venture between Palmerstone and Donald Starkey Designs.

Conclusions: This project resembles like the small island and feature al essential facilities. Each OME (floating house) include individual swimming pool. Mini cinema and sauna also included. Design is sustainable and can produce its own energy and power with its solar panels system.


Water Type: Salt Water

House Type: Varies

Buoyancy Materials: Pontoons, Barge, or EPS

Advantages: Capable of withstanding cracking and erosion

Disadvantages: Lack of organized sewerage and waste disposal.




English, Elizabeth. Amphibious Foundations and the Buoyant Foundation Project: Innovative Strategies for Flood-Resilient Housing. Ontario: University of Waterloo School of Architecture. 2010. Print.

Floating Houses Ijburg. Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer, n.d.. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.

Morphopedia. Morphosis Architects, Inc., 2014. Web. 2 Feb 2014.

Leupen, Bernard. 1997. Design and Analysis. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ———. 2006. Frame and the Generic Space. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. (accessed on 9 March 2009).

Alanna Mitchell. “Arctic Ice Melting Much Faster Than Thought.” The Globe and Mail Canada. (accessed 8 July 2009).

The Threat of Sea Level Rise #endnotes (accessed on 8 July 2009). – see bibliography for detail

The Turkish Online Journal of Design, Art and Communication - TOJDAC April 2016 Special Edition


Coastal Area in KARACHI.


  • Though Karachi is at higher elevation than other endangered countries but continuous sea level will affect the coastal city badly in future.

  • Selected region is a reclaimed land and is most threat prone site of Pakistan.

  • More than 20M people shall face the catastrophic destruction with Global Sea Level Rise.


  • Floating Units that can be easily moved anywhere on ocean.

  • Organic Design Form inspired from water to mimic fluidity.

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