The Maldives project is meant to use foam and concrete, perhaps not too different from concrete barges and existing floating homes. The joining together part may be new.
In the Maldives, Waterstudio has designed a network of floating islands, the first to be put in place next year, to accommodate hotels, a convention center, yacht club and villas. The “islands,” secured by steel cables, are made up of pontoons with a foam core encased in concrete that can be joined together like Lego blocks. An 18-hole golf course will also be set on such platforms, each with two to three holes, connected by underwater tunnels. The $500 million project, paid for by the Maldivian government and private investors, is slated for completion in 2015.
One of the architects interviewed slightly hints at a social/political effects of floating structures:
“Climate change will require a radical shift within design practice from the solid-state view of landscape urbanism to the more dynamic, liquid-state view of waterscape urbanism,” says Danai, who is involved in several projects based on this principle. “Instead of embodying permanence, solidity and longevity, liquid perception will emphasize change, adaptation.”
The idea was so simple it seemed almost unreal. He wrote it down, and the following morning he was still convinced that it was the answer to the problems in question. The essence of the idea had to do with the way you can lift several books off a bookshelf at the same time: by applying pressure. If you press the sides hard with both hands, the books are squeezed together and the middle ones do not fall down. This is the basic principle for assembling new, extremely large buoyant foundations. Polystyrene and concrete are laid out on the quay like a sandwich and pulled together using draw rails. The platform can then be directly lowered into the water. However, once the platform has been in the water for a long time, the pressure reduces, causing the concrete to fall into the water and the polystyrene foam to float upwards. The trick is to add a layer of concrete to the top of the platform on time. This covering layer forms a single unit with the prefab elements that will now float forever.
While one ship can easily widthstand storms, there is a danger for cluster of ships due to collisions risk.
Fixation of distances between ships via sort of beams (allowing vertical movement) can turn such a cluster to stable cell structure
When that cluster will grow up big enough, there are no waving will be felt in the central regions, which in turn will attract more colonists.