HydroPolis/ A floating Eco-Village attempt for the Gold Coast/Australia

Dr. Daniela A. Ottmann, Bond University

This project focuses on design solutions for an eco-integrated and climate-adaptive floating architectures within a collective Eco-Village ‘Hydropolis’ for a sustainable living proposition on the GoldCoast/Subtropics.

In the light of the declared climate emergency and the corresponding quest for a sustainable urban development this projects investigates design propositions for individually designed floating residential solutions in conjunctions with extended programmatic parts to complete an Eco-Village. Here the production of food, energy, clean water and shelter are investigated as an interdependent floating urban eco-system within the bio-climatic propositions of a subtropical lagoon situated on the west coast of Australia.

In the greater setting of the Seaway / Gold Coast design propositions seek to balance permanence and flexibility of a potential self-sustainable village ‘HydroPolis’ on the water that incorporates flexible planning mechanism as well as adaptable architectural solutions ‘HydroTecture’.

Master-planning explorations of the HydroPolis are complemented with individual propositions for a floating HydroTecture design. Various design propositions explore a residential and a collective function which are determined by a dynamic and collaborative planning approach of the common HydroPolis.

The result of the study aims to explore design and planning approach to collectively investigate a floating eco-village through bio-climatic adaptation, socio-cultural incorporation of complementary functions of a self-sustainable village within a dynamic and flexible water environment.

Keywords – Bio-Climatic Architecture, Sustainable Urban Development, Floating Eco-Cities, Floating Architecture, Co-Design Process


Dr Ottmann is on a continuous exploration of understanding and innovating correlations between
the built environment, people and nature. She has been practising, researching and educating architecture and urban design for over 20 years in various socio-cultural environments (Europe, Arabia, Africa), climate zones (desert, subtropical, temperate) and on various scales (urban design, architecture, interior design), besides questioning and re-defining applied practice through research and education at various universities in Germany, UAE, Oman, Australia and China. Her research is dedicated to serve bio-climatic buildings and urban conglomerations through ecologically adapted strategies that foster healthy environments for people and integrate
urbanisation to ecological system principles amongst socio-cultural aspects.

In her current position at the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University, Daniela
coordinates the environmental design stream in the HDR, postgraduate and graduate education. As lead of TAED (Tectonic Architecture and Ecological Design) at the Centre for Comparative Construction Research her research projects reach from Eco-composite materials, NeuroCities, Co-Living Design (age-appropriate, inclusive, participatory design) to prefabrication solutions for affordable housing for the Australian government.

Dr Ottmann has authored amongst other publications ‘Urban Ecolution: Future solutions for
healthy and ecologically integrated cities.’, ’Housing+ A Modular Housing System’, ‘C+ ‘My future home’, and ‘Urban Correlator: Strategies for an ecologically adaptable urban and architectural development’.

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