Aquatic Research Center, Maui, HI
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This thesis project is meant to explore, in architectural terms, the question of “what will happen if water levels continue to rise, and population levels continue to grow at an alarming rate?” This issue will impact all continents of the world and about 65 percent of the world population, located along water’s edge. Rather than forcing the relocation of billions of people inland to an even more condense area of dry land, our new technologies make it possible to utilize the 71% of the earth covered by water where no one is currently living. The project itself would need to focus on efficiency and due to the isolated location it will need to be relatively self sustaining. The new oceanic facility would also need to have a huge connection to its surrounding aquatic environment; as well, this project will integrate innovative design to find a habitual solution to link today’s infrastructure with the aquatic facilities of tomorrow. The project will focus on development of sub-aquatic communities along coastal regions for those who lose their homes due to the rising sea levels, which have consumed 2,000 miles of coast since 1900 (Willem Post, 2012). Natural disasters such as hurricanes also contribute to people losing their home in coastal communities around the globe. However, these individuals still are inclined to be geographically connected to the ocean. The community itself will act as a model on a global scale for the expansion into aquatic living, and will demonstrate the cutting-edge technology mankind currently has to offer. Such a building would drastically change our perception of current communities. Thus it will be critical to maintain connection between the communities, using infrastructure that has been set up over the last century, while at the same time expanding that infrastructure. This will need to be a permanent, self sustaining building, strong enough to withstand natural disasters but diverse enough to extract energy and other beneficial resources from the sea. The structure must also have a variety of spaces that incorperate living, working, research, and tourism.