"World's largest" floating office designed for climate change resilience
Described by creator Powerhouse Company as the world's largest floating office, the recently completed Floating Office Rotterdam is designed to rise with the tides of climate change, will get all of its electricity needs from a solar array, and can be easily recycled once it reaches the end of its useful life.
FOR was recently inaugurated by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands alongside former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva. It serves as headquarters for the Global Center on Adaptation, which Ki-moon chairs, and also hosts the ABN Amro bank, RED Company, designer Powerhouse Company itself. And there's a restaurant onboard too.
The project is located in Rotterdam's Rijnhaven harbor and is part of a larger redevelopment effort in the area which also includes Mecanoo's Maritime Center Rotterdam.
FOR measures 3,606 sq m (roughly 38,800 sq ft) and consists of a large terrace area, as well as three floors, with the upper floors featuring overhanging balconies to shade the interior (alas there are no interior photos available yet). It's also topped by a green roof. Structurally, it's made from prefabricated timber and rests on top of 15 custom-made concrete pontoons which are anchored together to create a solid floating base.
All required power for the building comes from an 800-sq-m (8,611-sq-ft) solar panel array – no mean feat in such a northerly location as Rotterdam – which is hooked up to batteries. It also uses the harbor water as a heat sink to help provide efficient heating and cooling, as was the case with BIG's Urban Rigger. It will remain in place for up to a decade, after which time it may host another tenant or be moved to another location, depending on requirements.
"We designed our floating office to reflect the values of its inhabitants: the Global Center on Adaptation," says Powerhouse Company. "This Rotterdam-based NGO chaired by Ban Ki-moon aims at promoting planning, investment, and technology to mitigate climate change. The carbon-neutral building is designed to be climate resilient and will float if sea levels rise due to climate change. Our climate-resilient office is both an illustration of the center's mission and sets an example for how to build sustainable floating structures."
Source: Powerhouse Company