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09:30-11:00 Session 10
Location: Pavilion
The Blue Drempel – flood resilient and amphibious planning principles for living on the threshold between water and land

ABSTRACT. An amphibious house rests on the ground on fixed foundations but whenever a flood occurs, it rises up in its dock and floats there buoyed by the floodwater.

“Blue Drempel” or Blue Thresholds –is a non-defensive planning strategy that locates architectural housing types according to flood risk: floating within the river; amphibious; elevated; resilient (dry proof and wet proof) to traditional to correspond with diminishing flood risk; and to connect these with the least amount of road and servicing infrastructure to allow as much space for natural landscaping. This landscaping is multi-functional, it accommodates places for play and sustainable urban drainage that is designed to anticipate flooding; it keeps water away from housing for as long as possible during a flood event. In the event of the landscaping being breached during an extreme flood event then the resilient and adaptable measures of each architectural housing type help keep occupants dry and safe.

Breakthrough Innovation or Niche Tradition? The Phenomenon of Floating Architecture

ABSTRACT. Quantitative studies undertaken in several countries show that floating buildings are an insignificant fraction of all building production. Therefore, it is especially surprising how complex and varied the world of floating architecture is. Floating buildings are not only impossible to classify within the well-established typologies, but they also avoid an unambiguous description in other aspects: creative, economic or legal. This presentation attempts to clarify the nature of floating building forms from the oldest examples to contemporary and futuristic water-based structures. It will be shown that the idea of building without land means contesting the existing built environment and questioning the recognized urban, economic and social order. Floating settlements avoid local spatial regulations and commercial facilities in city centers challenge the most expensive investments on the waterfront. Living or working on the water is not easy, and yet this lifestyle is being chosen more and more often by non-conformist families and entrepreneurs. The act of building on water, in the zone where it was previously impossible, has a deep architectural meaning. First of all, it denies the traditional understanding of a building as terrestrial real estate: the redeployability of floating buildings opens a new chapter in mobile architecture. Secondly, building on water extends the domain of architecture beyond terrestrial objects, and so it continues the visions of the old masters of architecture from Vitruvius to Buckminster Fuller. The significance of floating architecture in the dialogue between civil and naval engineering is something more than a random technical or aesthetic interaction. Floating architecture emerges at the interface of land and water in the form of complete, independent objects, ignoring the applicable legal norms and typologies, and that makes it a bold attempt to challenge the division between artistic and scientific disciplines of human activity.

Amphibious Houses: An alternative way for living with floods in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta

ABSTRACT. Abstract: Climate change is predicted to impact Vietnamese Mekong Delta more severely. Especially, expected impacts of higher average temperatures, flooding and droughts, alterations in precipitation patterns, sea level rise, salinity intrusion, extreme weather events become more prevalent. Seasonal flooding in the Mekong Delta causes adversely impact to certain poor communities which result in property damage and degrade resilience against shock. Many policies and strategies already exist for managing flood-related disasters, however most efforts designed to reduce the effects of floods have tried to against floods rather than adapt to or living with floods. Amphibious houses has been introduced by the Buoyant Foundation Project is considered as an alternative way for living with floods in the flood prone areas of Vietnamese Mekong Delta. These amphibious houses have tested and could often be adopted or modified into specific conditions of the delta. Two pilot sites of amphibious houses have been applied which are cost-effective, easy to implement and compatible with the environment. More important, it can be incorporated into long-term development programmes for Vietnamese Mekong Delta and other regions in Lower Mekong Basin.

11:00-11:30Coffee Break
11:30-12:20 Session 11
Location: Pavilion
Striving for urban waterfront perfection. The Case of first Warsaw Riverfront urban development competition, Poland

ABSTRACT. The regeneration and redevelopment of waterfronts has been an area of interest for designers, urban planners and city authorities since 1970’s. The unique nature of this area in urban landscape gives specific characteristics of many factors such as social approach, land value, typology and environmental issues. Development of waterfronts requires envisioning a network of well-connected, multi-use public spaces that fit the needs of virus users – citizens and tourists. At the beginning of 21st century interest for urban waterfronts regeneration increased in Poland. Till then Warsaw riverfront was either natural bank overgrown by greenery or technical area forbidden for any constructions within the levees. These aspects made it considered as an uninteresting public space, often dangerous for any activities. This research discusses urban redevelopment impact on part of Warsaw Vistula Riverfront area indicated for architectural and urban design competition conducted in 2008 and 2009 in Warsaw, Poland. That primary competition for waterfront development in the capital on Poland, elaborated solutions for the future projects and therefore became fundamental for change in approach, policies and politics of waterfront planning. The presentation will focus on the results of that competition, their implementation in boulevards construction and the final outcome.

Keynote Lecture
PRESENTER: Mark Kubaczka
13:00-14:00Lunch Break