Living@Sea: offshore living quarters and floating city urban expansion

Karina Czapiewska

Land cultivation is often followed by human settlement and eventually leads to urbanization. Given the rapid increase of urban needs and marine activities, similar development is to be expected on the seas. Within Space@Sea, @Sea addresses marine floating islands intended for human habitation (living, working and recreation) from two perspectives: offshore and urban. The former focused on improving the status-quo of offshore living conditions for offshore workers in oil and shipping industry, whereas, the latter investigated the possibility of expanding existing coastal cities to the sea, a very exciting alternative to land reclamation. Interviews with people with offshore experience have been conducted and a list of functional requirements for better offshore living conditions have been collected. These design inputs have then been used to conceptualize marine floating islands at 3 different scales: small (2 platforms of 45m x 45m), medium (2,000 inhabitants, 36 platforms) and large (50,000 inhabitants). The urban configuration of each scale was resulted from in-depth analysis and a parametric design approach. The design of medium scale has been presented in a brochure, a 3D printed model and an interactive 3D computational model as stimulus materials in interviews which aimed to learn about social acceptance of Living@Sea.

Furthermore, in order to define technical, comfort and safety requirements for Living@Sea, international conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW and MLC have been studied from the offshore perspective. From the urban perspective, documents related to national and municipal regulations/guidelines on floating structures in the Netherlands have been reviewed with relevant information extracted. Preliminary results have shown that a technical regulatory framework and a safety management system should be established to ensure the safety of marine floating islands. Last but not the least, investigations into the business case of Living@Sea floating and land reclamation have been done, considering different scenarios, Living@Sea as: 1) integrated multi-use platforms for deep sea conditions in the Mediterranean, or 2) stand-alone modules for living closer to shore. Results have shown that floating is financially more attractive than land reclamation in waters with a higher depth than around 12 meters.

KEYWORDS: living at sea, safety & comfort, design concept, social acceptance, business case

Karina Czapiewska has been active in the field of floating development for more than 12 years. During her studies of Master of Science in Integrated Area Development and Corporate Real Estate Management at the Delft University of Technology, she founded her first company (DeltaSync) after winning the first prize for the global Delta’s in times of climate change contest. Within two years, DeltaSync managed to complete the realization of its first design and building, the floating pavilion in Rotterdam. A few years later, after changing the focus from inland water to oceans and seas, her second and third companies were founded: INDYMO and Blue21. INDYMO focusses on measuring the quality of water in waterbodies, and underneath and around floating structures all around the world. Blue21 helps governments, construction companies, project developers and innovators in reaching their goals in floating urban development. In Space@Sea, Karina is the leader for Work Package 7: Living@Sea.

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