Carlo Ratti designs underwater public plaza for Florida masterplan

This project showcases how a new technology allows us to radically redefine the relationship between architecture and water
– Carlo Ratti

International architecture and research office Carlo Ratti Associati have unveiled the design of a new master plan for the Currie Park waterfront of West Palm Beach, Florida, which features a floating public plaza partially submerged beneath the sea.

A system of responsive air chambers, similar to the ones used by submarines, will keep the floating peninsula stable. The site will incorporate a series of public facilities, including an organic restaurant with its own hydroponic cultivations, a circular pool, an auditorium and a water plaza.

The wider masterplanned complex will include housing, retail and other leisure facilities. The project is designed to transform a vacant area on the coast of Lake Worth Lagoon – the narrow sea channel that separates the two cities of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach. A leafy ramblas will allow people to stroll from the city centre of West Palm Beach directly into the middle of the lagoon, where the floating plaza will be located.

“This project showcases how a new technology allows us to radically redefine the relationship between architecture and water,” said Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati.

Ratti’s studio are working on several boundary-pushing projects, including an interactive agriculture pavilion at Italy’s forthcoming Eately food theme park. They have also proposed the tallest man-made structure ever created, called The Mile, which would be covered by plants and greenery and inhabited by hundreds of animal species.

The benefits of building floating structures on water are explored in depth in the latest issue of CLADmag,

with architect and founder of design firm Waterstudio Koen Olthuis making the case that extending cities beyond the waterfront reduces the pressure on overpopulated urban areas and offers flexible solutions for problems thrown up by rising sea levels and climate change.

Carlo Ratti  Florida  architecture  design  West Palm Beach  Currie Park  Senseable City Lab  Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Florida 
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International architecture and research office Carlo Ratti Associati have unveiled the design of a new master plan for the Currie Park waterfront of West Palm Beach, Florida, which features a floating public plaza partially submerged beneath the sea. A system of responsive air chambers, similar to the ones used by submarines, will keep the floating peninsula stable. The site will incorporate a series of public facilities, including an organic restaurant
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A system of responsive air chambers, similar to the ones used by submarines, will keep the floating peninsula stable / Carlo Ratti Associati
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