Competition Design of Neutelings & Riedijk architects for EXPO 2010

November 2, 2010 by
The Dutch pavilion for the world exhibition in Shanghai is developed as a floating dock. The dock will be built in the Netherlands and dragged to Shanghai, with visits of the mayor ports in the world. The undertaking of the construction and the journey of the dock will be part of the expo itself. Once arrived in Shanghai, the pavilion will float on the river opposite the Bund. Water taxis can reach the pavilion where you can experience the floating presentations. The dock is set up as a theater stage that can have changing exhibitions and events, where water is the main theme. After the world exhibition the pavilion travels back to the Netherlands, to fulfill new functions.

The James Adams Floating Theatre

November 2, 2010 by

The JAMES ADAMS FLOATING THEATRE plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from 1914 to 1941, bringing theatre to ports of call in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

As a part of the American repertory theatre movement of the early 20th century, the Floating Theatre was an important cultural resource for people in metropolitan, rural areas and small coastal towns.

James Adams himself drew up the plans for and oversaw the building of the theatre superstructure on the boat. Adams’ theatre boat was launched on Tuesday afternoon, January 27, 1914.

At the time of it’s launching the theatre was called Playhouse, a barge of 436 tons, 128.3 feet long, 34 feet wide, 4.5 feet from deck to keel with beams that ran the length of the boat without scarfs, “heavy thirty two foot planks across the bottom, a skin four inches thick, and drift bolted every two feet with twenty seven inch bolts.

Soon after the playhouse started on its tidewater treks, Jim was informed by the Coast Guard that a barge such as the Playhouse had to have identification painted on the sides of its superstructure. Jim painted “James Adams Floating Theater” and that is what the theatre was called by its customers for the next eighteen years.

The original James Adams as reported by the Washington, North Carolina Daily News.

“Playhouse” First Floating Theatre Is Now Practically All Complete

To the rear of the stage is situated eight comfortable and convenient living rooms for the performers; underneath the stage is located a spacious and sunny dining room, also the cook room which is sanitary and airy. In this section of the boat is to be found the electric plant for the entire boat. Mr. Adams has on board his own water plant.

At the front end of the “Playhouse” is seen two offices, one being a ticket office and the other the private office of the owner. Between the two rooms is the main entrance to the theatre proper which is eight feet wide. Above the main entrance Mr. and Mrs. Adams have their living quarters, which are convenient and attractive, being Bungalow in style and finish. There are three large rooms, besides closets, bathroom, etc. These quarters are finished in Beaver board. The boat is provided with a telephone system running all over the boat.

The main attraction to the visitor, of course, is the main auditorium. This room is 30 by 80 feet, with a balcony running all the way around the room. The first floor is provided with steel folding self righting opera chairs and has a seating capacity of 500 people. To the left and right of the stage is installed two boxes, having accommodations for five persons each. The balcony is reserved for colored people exclusively and will seat 350 persons. Two boxes are also on this floor. The main auditorium is attractively finished with steel ceiling and the color scheme is surely one of good taste, being white, trimmed in blue and gold. In the center of the auditorium has been placed an electric chandelier and also on the walls chandeliers of a similar design. When all these lights are turned on a person will be enabled to pick [up] a pin on the floor.

The stage has an opening of 19 feet and is equipped with scenery manufactured by John Herfurth & Co, of Cincinnati. An orchestra pit is located just in front of the stage. The “Playhouse” will carry a company of 25 people. The show will consist of first class vaudeville and drama. Mr. Adams has provided a ten piece concert band and a six piece orchestra.

All over the boat hot and cold water is provided, making the “Playhouse” not only the latest word in theatres but also in living quarters.


Floating Architecture for a Changing Climate

November 1, 2010 by

Koen Olthuis is one of the young architects leading Holland, and the world, toward an amphibious future. From floating houses to a floating cruise ship terminal, Olthuis believes the best way to live with water is to live on water.

NPR Video Report: ‘Thinking Outside the Dikes’

Source:  John Poole (

The Future of Green Architecture: A Floating Museum

October 29, 2010 by

Physalia is half-boat, half-building, and all green. This mammoth aluminum concept by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is meant to travel Europe’s rivers, making filthy water drinkable. At the same time, the ship generates more energy than it uses.

A coat of titanium dioxide paint brushed onto the silvery shell will neutralize pollution by absorbing ultraviolet rays, enabling a chemical reaction that decomposes organic and inorganic toxins. (It’s the same technology used in certain high-tech concrete that breaks down airborne particulates.) As the vessel whips along, purifying waterways, it can draw on both solar and hydro power. Turbines under the hull transform water movement into electricity, and rooftop photovoltaic cells harness energy from the sun. The roof doubles as a nursery, whose carefully selected plants help filter river gunk, whether from the Thames, Rhine or Euphrates.


But Physalia isn’t just designed to be a working ship. The vessel will also be a floating museum of sorts. Scientists who study aquatic ecosystems can hole up in the dedicated “Earth garden” lab, and tourists can visit temporary exhibits in a “water garden” or settle into a submerged lounge that could easily pass for a London nightclub. Callebaut, 33, dreamed up the idea after last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen shone a long-overdue spotlight on global water issues. He has some lofty terms for his project: It’s a “nomadic hydrodynamic laboratory,” a “fragment of living earth,” and a “floating agora” on a “geopolitical scale.” Others might just call it a cool idea.

Source: Popsci

Floating Architecture Docks in Shanghai

October 29, 2010 by

SPARCH Architects adds a floating pod city to its giant cruise-ship terminal.

Shanghai Chandelier

SPARCH Architects, in charge of the master plan for Shanghai’s new cruise-ship terminal, has released renderings of its crown jewel: a collection of pod-like restaurants and bars suspended by cables from a 130-foot-high, glass-clad archway. The so-called “Shanghai Chandelier” was designed in part in response to some Shanghai city planners’ desire to open up the notoriously jam-packed city in anticipation of the 2010 Expo, themed around “Better City, Better Life.” Lifting the restaurants off the ground might crowd the skyline, but it offers views through the arch to a new waterfront park.

That park is there because most of the $260 million, 2.8 million-square-foot terminal isn’t there: it’s underground. The terminal master plan involves a network of courtyards carved into the landscape with buildings sunk into them. The first construction phase finished in October, and the entire terminal is set to open in May, in time for the Expo.

With a terminal this enormous, China is betting that the cruise industry booms in Asia. It’s been growing–Royal Caribbean started to operate out of Dubai in January with cruises around the Middle East and Shanghai saw more than 100 ships dock in 2007, up from only 10 in 2004–but the new terminal might be overly ambitious. About 150,000 cruise tourists came through the port in 2008. The new terminal is built to handle a yearly load of 1.5 million. Will it have to? It’s designed around 88,000-ton ships–huge, but not as big as behemoths like Royal Caribbean’s 220,000-ton Oasis of the Seas. (That ship needed a new terminal at Port Everglades, Florida designed just for it.) That’s because the Shanghai terminal’s site on the Huangpu River isn’t that great a port for these giant new ships. The biggest of the big can’t even get to the terminal because the river is too narrow and the Yangpu Bridge over it is too low for them to fit under. Most big ships, then, go to Hong Kong, or another port on the mouth of the Yangtze, outside of Shanghai. Royal Caribbean says it’ll use smaller, “intimate cruise ships” in the new port–a fitting oxymoron for a city bent on balancing smart urbanism with boomtown extravagance.

Shanghai Chandelier

Shanghai Chandelier

Shanghai Chandelier

Source:  Fact Company (by   William Bostwick )

Lajedo de pedras apareceu a 400 metros da margem, diz canoeiro

October 29, 2010 by

O que era água do rio Negro no período de cheias no porto de Manaus (AM) hoje abriga carros, caminhões, barracas e barcos. A areia que aparece pelo recuo de 100 metros da margem está sendo usada para comércio e como via de caminhada por viajantes e carregadores dos mais variados produtos.

Na maior seca do Rio Negro em 108 anos, a paisagem muda ao longo de seu curso. O canoeiro José dos Santos conta que um lajedo de pedras “reapareceu” no meio do rio, a cerca de 400 metros da margem. “Elas só foram vistas em 1963, quando também houve recorde de vazão do rio. Em 1983 um barco bateu nelas e ficou encalhado. Mas não dava para ver. Agora, em outubro, ela reapareceu”. O lajedo virou atração turística a banhistas.

O também canoeiro Pedro Roque, de 62 anos,  diz que “há lugares que não dá para passar” pela primeira vez em muitos anos porque leitos de igarapés estão secos.

Foto: AE

Água recuou no Porto de Manaus por conta da seca que atinge o Estado

O carregador de feira Analzido Gomes da Silva, de 32 anos, explica que, na seca, o trabalho sempre é mais díficil. “Prejudica muito para a gente. Fica tudo mais longe e o carreto mais pesado”. Como a margem do rio está afastada do porto e os barcos não conseguem atracar no local, os carregadores precisam caminhar os cem metros de areia para abastecê-los com mercadorias.

A distribuidora de queijos Helem Lima, de 26 anos, vai ao porto buscar o alimento para revender três vezes por semana. “Levar todo o queijo para o barco durava em torno de 30 minutos. Agora, dá 1h30, 2h. A produção está menor. Com pouca água, as áreas de pasto diminuem e, consequentemente, os gados e o queijo. Em época de cheia fazemos 500 quilos por semana; em seca, 200, 300 quilos chorando.”

Nível do Rio Negro

No último domingo, o nível do Rio Negro chegou a 13,63m, um centímetro a menos que o recorde de 1963. É o nível mais baixo em 108 anos, desde que a medição começou a ser feita no Porto de Manaus. Na segunda-feira, subiu para 13,65m e , na quarta, atingiu 13,70m. Daniel Oliveira, chefe do setor de hidrologia do Serviço Geológico do Brasil, o CPRM, afirma ao iG que, apesar de o rio Negro estar subindo desde domingo, ainda não é possível saber se a vazão chegou ao fim. “O rio Negro é decorrente do que acontece no Solimões, sobe e desce de acordo com ele”, explica. A água do rio Solimões voltou a cair, após dias seguidos de alta.

A seca no Amazonas fez com que 38 dos 62 municípios decretassem situação de emergência, segundo informou a Defesa Civil do Estado. Mais de 62 mil famílias já foram afetadas pela estiagem e pelo baixo nível dos rios. No interior, há comunidades isoladas e barcos impedidos de atracar nos portos. Em Manaus, há leitos de igarapés secos bem no meio da capital.

Segundo o CRPM, o rio Solimões já alcançou o menor nível da história nos principais pontos de medição. O rio Amazonas também já quebrou recorde com o menor nível registrado desde 1970, quando iniciou a medição.

Veja abaixo imagens de Manaus antes e depois da seca.

Source:  Lectícia Maggi (

Rising Temperatures, Disappearing Coastlines

October 26, 2010 by


Dutch Architects Plan for a Floating Future

October 26, 2010 by

Architects in Holland are showing the rest of the world a way of turning adversity into opportunity.

The inevitable rise in sea level that comes with climate change is going to make it increasingly difficult to control flooding in low-lying Holland. But instead of cursing their fate, architects are designing a new Holland that will float on water, and the Dutch government seems willing to try out the scheme. Holland has made other countries begin to question, too. Who says you have to live on dry land?

With the exception of the major highways, it feels like you can’t drive more than a mile or so in the Netherlands without running into water. It could be the sea; it could be a river; it could be a canal.

Source: Joe Palca ( )

Climate Displacement in Bangladesh

October 19, 2010 by

Bangladesh has among the highest death rates in the world from the hazards of tornadoes, strongwind, lightning, and hail. Current technology provides ineffective warning and communication.Social vulnerability to hazards is high due to poverty, weak housing, illiteracy, and lack ofemergency services. Four steps are proposed to reduce risks from severe local storms in Bangladesh. Install Doppler radar to detect storms, train meteorologists, and developmethods to convey warnings to villages and residents. Develop severe local storm educationmaterials with text and visual information about storms and storm safety. Distribute these toschool children and in billboards, posters, and through emerging technologies such as mobile phones. Construct household-level Bangladesh Ono Storm Shelters in a targeted communityand monitor their acceptance and use. Ensure that women are represented at equal numbers tomen in the education and decision-making for severe local storm reduction and recovery.

CAKED in sweat and slime, Mohamed Abdul Wozad pauses for breath before heaving another basket of river mud on his head, and starting up the slippery path towards the embankment above. A lifetime resident of Gabura Island in southwest Bangladesh, Wozad lives at the battlefront of global climate change, a 28sq km patch of damp earth clasped in the estuarine fingers of Bangladesh’s sprawling river network.

Bangladesh squeezes its roughly 160 million population into an area one-sixth the size of NSW. More than 80 per cent of those people survive on less than $US2 ($2.28) per day; many under constant threat from floods, droughts and cyclones. Together with the Maldives and a few other island states, Bangladesh tops virtually every index of countries most vulnerable to climate change. Experts say Gabura Island and the surrounding areas are the worst affected. In recent years it has been made a poster child by activists, who paint many of the country’s problems as the rotten fruit of Western greed.

“Climate change is not causing anything new, but the frequency and intensity are increasing,” says Ainun Nishat, formerly Bangladesh’s representative at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and now vice-chancellor of BRAC University in Dhaka. “There were massive floods in 1988, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2007. Statistically, the 1988 flood was a hundred-year event, but in 1995 and 2000 the water levels were similar [to 1988], and in 2004 they exceeded the 1988 level.”

Bangladeshi scientists say crops are failing in northern parts of the country due to changing weather patterns and, farther south, storms and sea-level rise are destroying property and contaminating arable land with salt. Environmental groups, who blame anthropogenic global warming, argue that if these problems worsen they could trigger catastrophic migration, even though migration experts are sceptical about such claims. In practice, however, it is very difficult to identify the effects of climate change among a welter of other possible causes; far less prove the link between local problems and global emissions.

“It is not yet clear whether these are long-term trends, but our observations on the ground match predictions based on IPCC climate change science, and we are using this as a proxy indicator that climate change is happening in Bangladesh,” says Mozaharul Alam, research fellow at the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies. “The major indications of climate change have come in the past 10 to 15 years, but the locals would say they have begun to observe unusual events over the past five to 10 years. If we really want to claim these problems are due to climate change we need more analysis and more longitudinal data.”

Sources: Risk Factors and Social Vulnerability, Displacement solutions

Buckminster Fuller – Triton floating city

October 19, 2010 by

Triton was a concept for an anchored floating city that would be located just offshore and connected with bridges and such to the mainland. It was a collection of tetrahedronal structures with apartments and such.

Sources: Triton floating city, DPR Barcelona.