Architecture

"World's largest" floating office designed for climate change resilience

"World's largest" floating off...
FOR is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and is part of an ongoing redevelopment of the Rijnhaven harbor
FOR is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and is part of an ongoing redevelopment of the Rijnhaven harbor
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FOR is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and is part of an ongoing redevelopment of the Rijnhaven harbor
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FOR is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and is part of an ongoing redevelopment of the Rijnhaven harbor
FOR is topped by a green roof that helps insulate the interior
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FOR is topped by a green roof that helps insulate the interior
FOR serves as a headquarters for numerous organizations, as well as an office space for Powerhouse Company, and there's a restaurant too
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FOR serves as a headquarters for numerous organizations, as well as an office space for Powerhouse Company, and there's a restaurant too
FOR has been constructed from timber and is designed to be easily recycled
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FOR has been constructed from timber and is designed to be easily recycled
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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.

FOR has been constructed from timber and is designed to be easily recycled
FOR has been constructed from timber and is designed to be easily recycled

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

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2 comments
2 comments
jerryd
I've been saying for decades homes in flood, subsidence prone areas should float. Cheaper to build and cheaper land ;^)
Smart going with concrete floats as gets stronger with age and marine life won't eat it.
ppeter
Assuming that the climate warming, and therefore the sea level rise, can not be stopped in a market based world economics (all cheap oil will keep being transformed into carbon dioxide, until it stops being cheaper than the alternatives for everybody in the whole world), moving on to floating homes and workspaces might be quiet a good backup plan. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in many river deltas all over the world, and long term basically for any place that's not higher than 60m above the current sea level.