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ARCHINECT
New York 2008
U.S.A.
DATE : 2008
TITLE : "ShowCase: LILYPAD , A Floating Ecopolis for Ecological Refugees"
LINKS : www.archinect.com
ShowCase: LILYPAD , A Floating Ecopolis for Ecological Refugees

It's common knowledge that the planet is warming, ice caps are melting, and water levels are rising. The international scientific community predicts that a temperature elevation of 1°C will lead to a water rise of 1 meter, resulting in massive land loss and the displacement of millions of people world wide. Vincent Callebaut, a visionary Belgian architect, is responding to this inevitability with his proposal LILYPAD, A Floating Ecopolis for Ecological Refugees.

LILYPAD is touted by Callebaut as a prototypical auto-sufficient amphibious city... a tenable solution to the rising water levels. In addition to providing housing for those displaced by the transforming land/water relationships, LILYPAD also produces sustainable energy for developed regions.

LILYPAD is a true amphibian - half aquatic and half terrestrial city - able to accommodate 50,000 inhabitants and inviting the biodiversity to develop its fauna and flora around a central lagoon of soft water collecting and purifying the rain waters. This artificial lagoon is entirely immersed, ballasting the city. It enables inhabitants to live in the heart of the sub aquatic depths. The multi functional program is based on three marinas and three mountains dedicated to work, shopping and entertainment. The whole set is covered by a stratum of planted housing in suspended gardens and crossed by a network of streets and alleyways with organic outline. The goal is to create a harmonious coexistence of humans and nature, exploring new modes of cross-cultural aquatic living.

The floating structure of the Ecopolis is directly inspired of the highly ribbed leave of the great lilypad of Amazonia Victoria Regia. The double skin is made of polyester fibers covered by a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) like an anatase which by reacting to the ultraviolet rays enable to absorb the atmospheric pollution by photocatalytic effect.

LILYPAD reaches a positive energetic balance with zero carbon emission by the integration of all the renewable energies (solar, thermal and photovoltaic energies, wind energy, hydraulic, tidal power station, osmotic energies, phytopurification, biomass), producing more energy than it consumes.