Here’s a unique way to adapt to global warming: build floating apartment complexes. That’s what Dutch designer Koen Olthuis is doing in the Netherlands with the Citadel, a residential complex that will be built on top of a polder, an area below sea level where flood waters shore up after heavy rains. The Netherlands’ 3000+ polders are usually pumped dry, but this one will remain filled with water.
Olthuis’s 60 luxury apartments, a car park, a series of greenhouses, a floating road to reach the complex, and a boat dock will all be set on a floating concrete foundation–so all the apartments rise and fall with the water level together. In addition to being able to go with the overflow of water, the Citadel apartments also conserve energy. Water from the polder is pumped through pipes and used as a cooling source, and as a result, the Citadel uses 25% less energy than conventional buildings.
The Citadel is only a small part of what will one day be a much larger complex filled with buildings and personal residences. Perhaps the complex can act as a lesson to other cities below sea level to embrace flood waters instead of trying to unsuccessfully banish them.