ARCHITECTURE: Floating in Water.

From: IN%"[email protected]" "List for the discussion of Buckminster Fulle
s works" 8-JUL-1992 13:29:02.72
To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
Subj: Floating Cities

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Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1992 10:12:31 EDT
From: The Caterpillar Cannot Understand The Butterfly
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Subject: Floating Cities
Sender: List for the discussion of Buckminster Fuller's works
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To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
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Date: Mon, 29 Jun 92 17:50:12 EDT
From: [email protected] (Salamander~)
To: [email protected]
Subject: [[email protected]: Floating Islands]

To: [email protected]
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 92 17:05:30 EDT
From: [email protected] (Mark A. Sulkowski)
X-Original-To: [email protected]
Subject: Floating Islands
X-Extropian-Date: Remailed on June 29, 372 P.N.O. [21:05:49 UTC]
Reply-To: [email protected]

Here is a recent newspaper article which I am sure my fellow extropians
will find interesting.

Mark Venture

(This message has my permission to reproduce freely.)


By Donald J. Frederick
National Geographic

HONOLULU -- They barely stir a ripple now, but floating islands
and cities could swell into a big wave of the future.

Many participants came away from a recent meeting here on ocean
technologies and opportunities in the Pacific convinced that
everything from waste disposal plants to condominiums has a
future at sea.

All the ideas that were drifting around at the meeting have one
things in common: By utilizing the sea, they hope to ease
stresses on the land.

One of the most elaborate schemes -- a "floating downtown," just
three miles offshore from Honolulu -- is envisioned by John
Craven, an ocean engineering professor at the University of

It would include rotating condominiums, office buildings and
industrial facilities. "The floating city would provide much-
needed housing and ease development pressure in Hawaii, and it's
all doable," Craven insists.

Another splashy plan proposes a 250-acre floating airport for
San Diego. Located about three miles off Point Loma, the
"floatport" would have two 12,000-foot runways and space for
80 airplane gates.

"The facility would probably be linked to the mainland by a
tunnel or a bridge, although advanced hydrofoils or other
stable watercraft might be considered," says Howard L. Blood,
chairman of the National Ocean Research Exploration Center, a
non-profit organization that supports the project.

An expanded floatport might also become a deep-water port that
includes "hotels with full resort activities and subsurface
cocktail lounges with underwater views of the natural sea life
attracted to this man-made floating reef," says San Diego
architect Doanld A. Innis.

In the architect's concept, the $1.5 billion facility would be
would be supported 20 feet above the water by a honeycomb of
30,000 large concrete cylinders that would make it impervious
to wave motion.

But most floating-island advocates concede that before engineers
plunge into elaborate offshore havens, they first must test the
waters with less ambitious projects. One of the quickest ways
to launch floating-structure concepts would be to start with
building blocks that already exist.

"A lot of oil platforms aren't being used now, and if there
were a serious program, you could use them to demonstrate many
aspects of this technology," says Joseph R. Vadus, chairman of
the U.S. marine fisheries panel of the United States-Japan
cooperative program in natural resources. "Big rigs such as
semisubmersibles could be linked together to form floating

Some of these demonstration islands could be turned into garbage
dumps. Trash, which already threatens to overwhelm many
conventional landfills, could be put in closed containers and
barged to oil-drilling platforms 20 to 100 miles offshore,
suggests Michael A. Champ, president of Environmental Systems
Development in Falls Church, Va.

Rather than being dumped at sea, the garbage would be converted
into electricity and fresh water, using high-temperature
combustion. The ash residue would be used to make concrete
blocks for artificial reefs that would attract fish.

One of the most innovative floating islands on the drawing
boards looks like a big blue doughnut. Domed over with blue
glass, it would cover about two acres and function as a
working showcase for technologies that would thrive on future
floating islands.

"We'd like to have our doughnut or something similar in the
water off the state of Hawaii within the next 10 years," says
Patrick K. Takahashi, who directs the project and heads the
University of Hawaii's Natural Energy Institute.

Takahashi views his innovative floating island as an ocean
version of the space station. "At $150 million," he says,
"it would be a bargain compared to the multibillion-dollar
space station and open a frontier that's a lot more

One of the most unusual floating islands under consideration
would serve as a port of call for a virtual city aboard a
ship. Scheduled for launch in 1995, the 250,000-ton cruise
ship Phoenix World City, largest ever built, would carry 6,200
passengers and 1,800 crew housed in three deck structures that
look like floating condominiums.

"Our engineers are already looking ahead at floating islands,"
says World City Corp. Chairman John S. Rogers. "The first would
probably be a self-contained resort at sea for our cruise

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