At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, founder of the firm BIG, unveiled his design for the first sustainable and affordable floating community for 10,000 residents. The idea for Oceanix, a company that develops innovative ways of building on water, was conceived with the collaboration of the Center for Ocean Engineering at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Studio Other Spaces (Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann), among others.
The purpose of Oceanix City is to provide a livable environment on the high seas to populations threatened by climate phenomena or sea level increases, which by the year 2050 are expected to affect 90% of the world’s coastal cities. Designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes, each small hexagonal composition of modular islands contains 12 hectares and can accommodate 1,650 people. The islands unite to form an expandable ring-archipelago. The pieces will be constructed on land, towed to the sea, and anchored. To form a low center of gravity and resist wind, the buildings may not rise more than seven levels. Oceanix City also incorporates systems for obtaining renewable energy (such as underwater and wind turbines and solar panels), producing food, and managing wastes.