'Oceanscrapers' to Enable Life Under the Sea

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January 3, 2016

The future homes of tens of thousands of people would be underwater, if a Belgian architect realizes his vision. But underwater in this case means living quarters, not flooding.

The project, titled Aequorea, is the brainchild of Vincent Callebaut, a prize-winning architect known for environmentally friendly design projects. Callebaut won prizes for a sustainable residential tower (Agora Garden, a DNA-shaped building that is under construction in Taiwan and due to be finished in 2016) and a thermal swimming pool.

Callebaut's latest project envisions a number of "oceanscrapers," buildings made from recycled plastics procured from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an ever-growing massive collection of debris that floats around the Pacific Ocean.

The buildings would stretch from the sea floor to a height dozens of feet above the water surface. Residents would drink desalinated seawater. Not limited to residential space, the mangrove-covered buildings would also house offices, farms, science labs, and even sports fields. Bioluminescence would light the underwater levels of the buildings, and organic waste would be repurposed courtesy of microalgae.

Aequorea is a similar to a 2008 project created by Callebaut, titled Lilypad, or Floating ecopolis. That project was an idea for a home for future refugees of climate change and was envisioned to house 50,000 people while being powered only by renewable energy, including a central lagoon that purifies water for residents to drink.

Funding, as always, remains to be provided.

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