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LaunchCenter for Amphibious Construction on a New Lake in a Transforming Region of Opencast Mines

Benjamin Casper

The LaunchCenter combines research, development, and construction with an artificial testing field for amphibious* constructions at an artificial lake to be filled starting in 2031 with a final size of about 11km² in Inden in the west of Germany. The Rheinische Revier area is to develop from an opencast lignite mining area to a region with three future lake locations. The region is facing enormous challenges due to the loss of jobs, the reduction of local tax revenues, the existing energy-intensive industries that are dependent on energy supply and the high pressure on the remaining land. Several thematic clusters have been identified, which should lead to economic diversification, sustainable regional development and transformation of infrastructure systems. The LaunchCenter is a concept for initiating and introducing a economic niche in this region with high ambitions regarding local and international vocational training, interdisciplinary research and high quality production of low and high tech products. The 30 to 40 years of filling up the lake will be used to train and learn how to amphibiate. Specific and outstanding amphibious, floating and hybrid construction concepts shall be realized in the rising water level partly as experiments and partly as permanent mobile or immobile facilities.

KEYWORDS: Opencast Mine, Future Lake, Artificial Testing Field, Research and Development, Living with Water

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Benjamin Casper is an architect and urban planner and graduated at RWTH Aachen as Dipl.-Ing. After a year-long research stay in Bangkok in 2001/2002 he studied on various urban questions of Bangkok and received an award of the Stiftung Deutscher Architekten for his thesis on “The Shophouse in Bangkok”. Currently, he is working on his PhD combining geographical research with an urban architectural background concerning the integration of a water-oriented urban morphology. He is working now at the Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier as a project manager in regional management. He focuses on the architectural, urban morphological and urban planning issues of an amphibious living space. He approaches the water-land nexus with an anthropocene perspective and starts to build up an interdisciplinary network to implement a competence center for amphibious constructions at the lake Inden in the Rheinische Revier.

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