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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Citadel, Westland, Netherlands

Construction to commence in March 2010
Holland is to be home to Europe's first ever floating apartment building when Waterstudio's Citadel project completes. Construction is set to begin in March 2010 on the 60 unit apartment building, designed by Koen Olthuis, which will be the first in a 1200 home urban development called the New Water.

The project has been developed to change the relationship of Holland residents with their surroundings, to live on the water rather than beside it. The innovation changes the way that people in Holland have lived for centuries and removes the need for polders. Holland has as many as 3500 polders which are below sea level and keep the land dry by pumping water out 24/7. New Water is being created in a depolderised zone created through necessity to prevent other polders from flooding.

While there have been floating houses before, Citadel will be the first floating development with more than 30 housing units/acre water to be created in Europe. It is a composition of 180 modular elements around a courtyard on top of a floating concrete caisson foundation. All the apartments have a water view and most of them have a berthing place for a small boat. Projected on the middle of the water there will be a floating road for connection with the shore for emergency vehicles and for residents.

The first of six floating accommodation projects at the site, Citadel is an experiment in architectural ingenuity which will encourage architectural problem solving by encouraging sustainable solutions. A competition which launches in September will ask green roof designers to come up with lightweight green roofs for the 50 roof terraces which will add to the climate control of the building.

As a part government-owned project several of the buildings in the New Water scheme will be affordable housing. Citadel, however, is at the top end of the pricing structure and is designed to offer similar comfort to that of a high rise building where residents should feel no movement in the water. For the period of construction pumps will be used to construct the structure on dry land and will be stopped to allow water to rush in and the solid concrete structure to, hopefully, float.

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