Floating Cities

Exhibition dates:  13 April – 5 May, 2019

Floating Cities features a catalog of various floating typologies from around the world, including floating houses, art projects, landscapes, infrastructure (bridges, tunnels, roads), and floating cities. In 2000, Japan inaugurated the “Blue Revolution” with a floating airport in Tokyo Bay. In 2010, Singapore launched the world’s first floating football field. The Dutch are pioneering floating houses and cities, while the Norwegians are working on monumental floating infrastructure including bridges and tunnels. The first floating city is scheduled to be built off the coast of French Polynesia in 2022. Ranging from vernacular floating environments to experimental architecture and urban proposals based on cutting-edge buoyant technology, tidal energy, and sustainable models of development, this exhibition explores a global movement of urbanization on water. The scope of projects illustrates this emerging field of design while examining the relevance of floating cities in contemporary design debates concerning climate change and sea level rise.

While historically vernacular and industrial floating structures have long existed, in the 1960s avant-garde architects such as the Metabolists, especially Kiyonori Kikutake, R. Buckminster Fuller, Archigram, and others, experimented with floating cities. Aldo Rossi’s “Theater of the World” (1979) and Rem Koolhaas and Madelon Vriesendorp’s “Floating Swimming Pool” (1981) marked a transitional period. Since 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, there has been a resurgence in the interest of floating projects within the discipline of architecture. This exhibition highlights the extraordinary range of work by emerging designers from around the globe who are addressing issues related to sustainability, flooding, climate change and sea level rise such as the Makoko Floating School by NLÉ Architects (Nigeria), the floating schools and clinics by Mohammed Rezwan (Bangladesh), the Amphibious House by Site-Specific Company Limited (Thailand) and the “Bamboo Blossom” low-cost amphibious house by H&P Architects (Vietnam). Historically cities were built near water (rivers, lakes, and seas). Today these territories are subjected to greater risk of flooding cause by climate change and increasingly powerful storm surge. As coastal areas are threatened by endemic flooding, floating developments present new opportunities to create sustainable and resilient communities. In addition, in megacities such as New York City, Singapore, and Tokyo, as well as European centers including Copenhagen and Amsterdam, where density has soared to capacity and land is scarce, water has become the new frontier.

Anthony Fontenot, Curator

The research for this exhibition was conducted in a fall 2019 seminar at Woodbury University School of Architecture with the following students: Arman Abou-Nasseri, Esra Kilickan, Max Perez, Anmol Sachdeva, Anusha Shah, Blake Shiu, Yixi Song, and Sylvia Zilifian. The exhibition is part of a larger project developed in collaboration with Monique Verdin and Another Gulf Is Possible – Collaborative for a Just Transition in the Gulf in Louisiana.

This exhibition was supported by a Woodbury University Faculty Development grant

Anali Gharakhani, Exhibition Design

The exhibition includes projects by Ant Farm + WORK AC, Lateral Office, Aptum Architecture with CEMEX Research Group, Archigram, Edward R. Armstrong, Atelier Mey Architects + Littoral Urbanism Lab at U|SoA, Baca Architects, Jorge Bakker, Jeroen Everaert, Anne van der Zwaag, and Jurgen Bey, BIO Architects, Bjarke Ingels Group, Blue Frontiers, Blue21, Seasteading Institute, Buoyant Foundation Project, Vincent Callebaut, Carnegie Clean Energy, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Studio Tom Emerson with ETH Zürich students, Floating Farm Holding, Forward Thinking Architecture, Friday, H&P Architects, Kiyonori Kikutake, Rem Koolhaas and Madelon Vriesendorp, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Noriaki Kurokawa, Atelier LAVIT, MOS Architects, NLE Architects, Catherine King and Wayne Adams, Kisho Kurokawa, Adam Marcus, Margaret Ikeda, Evan Jones/Architectural Ecologies Lab at California College of the Arts, Marinetek Group and Sito, Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists, Mass Studies, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan, Morphosis Architects, Jorge Moura, Laust Nørgaard, OOPEAA (Office for Peripheral Architecture), + POOL, Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers, Aldo Rossi, Sarly Adre Sarkum, Site-Specific Company Limited, Sivad Maritime, Paolo Soleri, Practical Action, Kenzo Tange, Enrico Tognoni and Federico Tinti with Ricardo Zurita, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha/ Mohammed Rezwan, Urban Lab, Washington State Department of Transportation, Waterstudio, and others.

Posted in Current

Comments Off on Floating Cities


Join Woodbury School of Architecture for the third annualPLATFORM Community College Exhibition at Woodbury University Hollywood Outpost (WUHO) on Hollywood Boulevard. The last day of the exhibition will be Feb. 21st, […]

Continue reading →

View all


WUHO Gallery will present Imagined Landscapes, an exhibition by Kilograph x ASAI x Climate Cents. The show will run through October 6th. Architect founded, Kilograph is interested in communicating design […]

Continue reading →

View all


The Now What?! exhibition at WUHO Gallery was recently featured by the Los Angeles Times in an entertainment and arts article by Wendy Gilmartin. As she states, “In an expansive undertaking, […]

Continue reading →

View all


March 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Gallery Hours: Thurs – 1pm to 8pm & Fri, Sat – 1pm to 6pm Join Woodbury School of Architecture at WUHO Gallery for the […]

Continue reading →

View all