Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

'Waterscraper' concept gives skyscrapers a dunking


February 17, 2011

The h2O  scraper is a conceptual multi-dwelling building that would float with its top level on the surface of the sea, and the rest dangling down into the water below

The h2O scraper is a conceptual multi-dwelling building that would float with its top level on the surface of the sea, and the rest dangling down into the water below

Image Gallery (2 images)

As cities become more densely-populated, the trend for multi-dwelling complexes has been to build up – hence the advent of the highrise as we know it today. Building down doesn’t seem to be much of an option, as it would be very labor-intensive, and residents would justifiably freak out at the thought of living hundreds of feet below the surface of the Earth. Malaysian architect Sarly Adre Bin Sarkum, however, has proposed a multi-level building that goes down – into the ocean. While his hO2+ concept is pretty unlikely to ever be built, the imagination behind it was enough to merit a Special Mention in eVolo magazine’s 2010 Skyscraper Competition.

The top level of the hO2+ scraper would float on the surface, with the living quarters directly underneath. That way, residents would still get seawater-filtered sunlight shining through their windows, and would presumably worry less about drowning in the event of a leak. The rest of the building would proceed down to a depth equivalent to the height of the some of the world’s tallest highrises. Multiple tentacles with paddle-like bioluminescent tips would extend out from the building’s central “shaft,” both to attract marine life, and to generate power through their swaying movements.

“The hO2+ scraper proposes to break free of the urban fabric and functions as self-sufficient ambassadors in the sea,” the architect stated in his contest entry. “It is self sufficient as it generates its own power through wave, wind, current, solar, bio etc. and it generates its own food through farming, aquaculture, hydroponics etc. It carries with its own small forest on top its back and supports places for users to live and work in its depths [...] Such sustainability strategies aim to ultimately create and provide an oasis with ‘Zero’ negative impacts to the environment, not only that but also improves on it hence the ’Plus’.”

Besides a forest, the top level of the structure would also include space for crop and livestock farming, and wind turbines. Down at the very bottom, ballast and balancing tanks would keep everything upright. In some ways, it's reminiscent of the proposed NOAH floating megacity.

... and yes, there are indeed a thousand what-ifs and yeah-buts surrounding the concept. Comments on the eVolo website bring up issues such as tidal waves, claustrophobia, and the whole question of how the thing would be built. There also appears to be no means of propulsion, or of anchoring the building.

As an exercise in pure we’ll-work-out-the-details-later speculation, however, it definitely has some appeal.

Via InventorSpot, Inhabitat

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

tidal waves, etc are minuscule problems compared to the elephant in the toilet cubicle.the pressure.The pressure goes up by 1 atm every 10m. So the height of a skyscraper, say 200m down the pressure would be 300psi.Just think back to any war-time submarine movie you ever saw.


The reason this stuff doesn\'t exist is that it is a purely emotional exercise. If it says \'eco\', then it is an unworkable, undeveloped concept that is meant only to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.

You need age and experience to realize how much good work there is already in mainstream endeavors. If designers put the same effort into helping improve what is already out there we would all see the benefits immediately.

Instead, the designer has wasted his time - just like all \'eco\' and \'green\' schemes - by not thinking through the practicalities of the concept beyond the initial coolness. Of course nobody is going to live hundreds of feet under water. Of course the resources required to build it are vastly higher than conventional buildings that could also use a creative tune-up.

But hey, if you grow some plants on top of it you\'re saving the planet, and all the teenagers will think it\'s instantly cool.

Todd Dunning

1st, I am Malaysian, 2nd Malaysia Boleh :o. 3rd, I hope he don\'t ask government to fund it. 4th, he should come out a mini scale type first using retire oil rig( gizmag post someone idea early to reuse it, on the top platform for recreation) and build this thing under the platform. 5rd,Malaysia will reduce oil rig builder license, the drop out has someway to go. 6th, Lee Kuan Yew should fund him for mini scale trial out, Lee wouldn\'t ask this people reside there, instead use it for further strategist and goods store. 6th.The ship, boat, submarine, dock, underwater exit, internal buildup and concept not include, waste treatment facilities7th.The design doesn\'t state building material, with current available material, no green!final, guess how many tonne anti marine(toxic paint) coat need to prevent clam and sunk

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles