In the movie 2012 (roundly criticized by scientists for being wildly unrealistic), the world as we know it ends in a great flood and people only survive by virtue of giant arks – in the same vein as Noah’s famous vessel but infinitely more advanced.
Old Noah has done more than inspire Hollywood; he has also provided the basic idea from which other great minds have leapt, such as Russian architect Alexander Remizov, who has designed an eco-friendly dome capable of withstanding biblical floods.
Remizov’s dome, unimaginatively called “The Ark” is designed to be constructed in a very short period of time (under six months), uses eco-friendly materials and is entirely self-sustaining. It can be built for life on land or on water and is capable of withstanding earthquakes and tornados.
Remizov designed the dome with one of his colleagues, Lev Britvin, in connection with the International Union of Architects’ Disaster Relief programme. In line with the principles of the union’s “Architecture and Renewable Energy Sources” programme, the Ark doesn’t require external support systems, can be constructed quickly in adverse climate conditions and its construction has minimal impact on the environment.
The Ark is built from wood, steel, high-tech plastic, and solar panels and can be scaled to accommodate between 50 and 10,000 people. Instead of glass, Remizov uses a high-tech durable and self-cleaning foil, which is transparent so that indoor plants can grow. An indoor jungle will help establish a microclimate, while energy will be generated from the sun and wind.
In an email interview with the Star, Remizov said, “I like the idea of creating an independent-from-power-networks building that can be constructed in the most beautiful places, including the water surface, while respecting the environment. The building (would have an) organised community which has everything necessary for its prosperity and growth.”
Remizov is currently in discussions with investors and the Russian Council of Sustainable Buildings, to bring his vision to life.
Other ideas for futuristic, self-sustaining biospheres include:
Lilypad, a floating ecopolis is designed by Vincent Callebaut Architects as an “auto-sufficient amphibious city.” It is based on the capable design of the lily pads found in the Amazon River basin and incorporates all aspects of eco-living to achieve a “positive energetic balance with zero carbon emission.” It will be able to accommodate up to 50 000 people.
The Magic Mountains designed by the CEBO/Chongqing University architect team is a series of green buildings in the business district in Chongqing, China which are built to mimic the surrounding mountainous landscape. The unique design is not simply for aesthetics but will also optimise the passive heating and cooling system and reduce energy consumption. The Magic Mountains are effectively a self-contained city in which only walking and cycling will be permitted.
For more futuristic eco-buildings visit Design Swan.
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