Friday, November 14, 2008




The year is 2108. The polar ice caps have melted. The sea level has risen. Water has invaded every major city along the east coast. A network of cities that had been developed along fault lines to enable trade and transit 300 hundred years ago now stands inundated by water. The same water which provided these cities sustenance now threatens their existence. The American megalopolis lays drowning and gasping for air. Buildings are entirely submerged; windows have popped out of their sills. The ground is out of reach. People cannot stand, they can only swim. What happens now?

But water in all its ferocity still remains sublime. As the most threatening substance, it is simultaneously of utmost beauty. In this scenario water plays the paradoxical role of both the enemy and the only hope for survival.


-New Orleans

-ARO’s New York

-Guy Nordenson project

-Human habitation always occurs in the most unstable places.

-Humans have a history of living where they should not, and a history of facing natural disasters.

-Many cities already are water cities: Venice, Amsterdam, Bangkok. However, none of them are dealing with the conditions of water in innovative ways. Traditional building typologies are applied in brutal climates.

-If one looks to the past—many innovative ways of looking at the merging of water and architecture.

Examples: Islamic cities-Fes

Mughal temples-Alhambra

Indian cities-Agra

Roman aqueducts

Bath houses

Mills of Crete

-in the past was a celebration of architecture and water

-modernism forged water into its utilitarian role and it became increasingly privatized and hidden in pipes

-revival of celebration of water begins to be seen in the 80s

-see blog for more info

Design Proposition

For my thesis I propose a new way of living on water. The entire city must be rethought. Water should be considered at a multiplicity of scales, from the larger network to the scale of the person. In its threatening nature, I hope to also realize its playfulness. For my thesis I propose designing a city for the flooded condition of water that performs both functionally as a mode of survival, and expressively as a celebration of water.

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