Netherlands literally means ‘low-lying country’ and this is because much parts of the nation lie below the sea level or are just slightly above it. But humans are known to adapt to various conditions and the Netherlands is home to an entire small town on water.
Waterbuurt or ‘Water District’ in the east Netherlands has about 100 houses, all floating on the water. Built by a Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, this neighbourhood has been designed atop Lake Eimer and is a great step in devising ways of living with rising sea levels.
With the climate changing for the worse and global warming on a rise, the sea levels are likely to soar greatly in the coming decades. Thus there must be a way to sustain ourselves if much of the land gets submerged. Same principle has been applied while erecting Waterbuurt as this will help the locality survive even if there is a tide and manage the increasing population in the urban areas of the country.
Located just 15 minutes from Amsterdam, Waterbuurt currently has more than 100 houses but upon the completion of the project, there are going to be around 18,000 homes. These houses are not ships made to stay still but actually made from regular housing material. According to a design portal, these homes are permanently fastened to the bed of the lake using steel pylon-enforced moorings. This will ensure that the structures do not float away or bump into each other. These sit atop airtight concrete tubs designed to submerge no more than half a story. These watertight concrete caissons are also habitable, which will pose as underground basements.
Their exterior look is quite similar to the famous houseboats found in the canals of the Netherlands with the only difference being houseboats are not tied to the water bed. The material used to make the houses on Lake Eimer have been selected carefully so that no pollutants get released into the water from the houses.
Overall, wood, plastic, and glass have been used to design the houses and the town is currently open for viewing, as per a local tourist website.
All the residents have individual access to concrete jetties that bring them to land. Also, cables and pipes carrying gas, electricity, water, cable, and sewage drainage system for each floating home run below the jetties. Built at a shipyard, the houses have giant glass panels at the front so that the water gracefully reflects back the buildings. Potential buyers also have the choice of selecting their location, if they want it to be at the deep end or at the front of the neighbourhood.
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