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That every modern building on the face of this earth seeks to be a sustainable entity is an oft-repeated and well-established fact. Interestingly, this trend is now finding its way even through buildings built on water. And as if in testimony, a gigantic arch-shaped hotel named “The Ark” has been built on sea water by the Russian architectural firm Remistudio, in collaboration with the International Union of Architects’ programme titled “Architecture for Disaster Relief.”
The core concept behind the architecture of this unique building is safety and protection from extreme environmental conditions and climate change.
Sprawled over a total site area of 4500 m2, this building can withstand extreme floods caused by rising sea levels, and floats autonomously on the surface of the water owing to its arch-shaped structure. The Ark is also designed to be a bioclimatic house with independent life-support systems, including elements that ensure a closed-functioning cycle.
Make-up of The Ark
Timber arches and steel ropes used in construction provide structural solidity to the building. The framework is covered by a special foil made of Ethyl TetraFluoroEthylene (ETFE) – a strong, highly transparent foil, self-cleaning, recyclable, highly durable, economical, and lighter than glass. The foil itself is fixed to the framework by special metal profiles, which also serve as solar collectors for water heating and as gutters that collect rainwater from the roof surface. A prefabricated frame allows for fast construction.
The cupola in the upper portion collects warm air which is gathered in seasonal heat accumulators to provide uninterrupted energy supply for the whole complex. The heat from the surrounding environment – the outer air, water or ground – is also used. The building can produce extra power for supplying to adjacent houses and for “green” means of transport.
The building makes a single energy system. The form of the cupola assists in creating an air-eddy at the outer surface around the central bearing, where the wind power and tornado generators are placed. The form of the building allows for placement of photoelectric cells at an appropriate angle to the Sun.
The base of the building is shell-like in structure, devoid of ledges or angles, rendering it very suitable for climatically and seismically sensitive regions. A load-bearing system of arches and cables allows weight redistribution along the entire corpus in case of an earthquake.
- Lush vegetation helps provide good quality of air and a source of food.
- All plants are chosen as per the principles of compatibility, illumination and efficiency of oxygen production
- A transparent roof allows for penetration of sufficient light for the plants in ther interiors.
- The design uses solar panels and a rainwater collection system to provide occupants with power and water.