Wednesday, October 05, 2005

In New Orleans, Let's Try New New Urbanism, Not Old New Urbanism

Another Floating House post from my new favorite arch-blog, Tropolism. As Chad Smith points out, this one is Dutch (as opposed to German, click here) and not only is the above image a real model, but some homes have already been built using this technology.

There are 37 houses strung along this branch of the Maas like a row of beads. At first glance, they seem quite unremarkable. Two storeys high, semicircular metal roofs and yellow, green or blue facades - hardly any clues let on that these are The Netherlands' first amphibious houses. The cellar, in this case, is not built into the earth. Instead, it is on a platform - and is much more than a mere storage room. The hollow foundation of each house works in the same way as the hull of a ship, buoying the structure up above water. To prevent the swimming houses from floating away, they slide up two broad steel posts - and as the water level sinks, so they sink back down again.

According to Bird to the North, an enormous urban design charrette for New Olreans is being organized by New Urbanists Andres Duany and John Norquist. I say, why don't we try some NEW new urbanist urban planning, something say, like floating neighborhoods. I'm serious. Read the full article here.