Architect gets eco-political with new underwater city design


Presenting… the ‘oceanscrapers’

Rendering via

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is well-known within the industry for creating conceptual projects designed to make a statement and provide radical solutions for present-day and future problems.

His latest project is Aequorea – an underwater city that can accommodae up to 20,000 inhabitants designed from the excess of rubbish found in the world’s oceans, reports Dezeen.

The aquatic city is brought to life through impressive renderings and a letter written to the ‘people of the land’ by a fictional ‘aquanaut’ resident of the city.

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Described by Callebaut as “an oceanscraper printed in 3D from the seventh continent’s garbage,” the city descends 1,000 metres below the ocean’s surface. It comprises 1,000 towers, with the buildings made from a fictional new 3D printed composite material, algoplast, a combination of algae and rubbish.

The city off the coast of Rio de Janeiro can host 10,000 housing units and offices, as well as sea farms, gardens, orchards and marine life habitats.

Food would be sourced from farmed algae, plankton and molluscs while energy would be derived from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels. Gill masks would be used to enable inhabitants to breathe underwater.

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Callebaut’s letter, which is available in full on ArchDailymakes clear that Aequorea is an “eco-political” statement on the world’s rampant consumption of natural resources and thoughtless dumping of plastic in our oceans.

“They were consuming the city like a commodity rather than a common good that should be nurtured in symbiosis with nature,” reflects the letter on our present day.

It concludes with the message: “Never forget this: oceans produce 50 percent of our planet’s oxygen. They are the most active lung! Well worth the trouble of cleaning to re-enchant our living together, don’t you think?”

This is not Callebaut’s first statement on environmental apocalyptic architecture: back in 2008, he designed The Lilypad, another underwater colony for climate change refugees, according to Inhabitat

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