Some say this project reflects a pessimistic vision of our future on Earth, others say it is a realistic response to a planet in peril – but most people will be hard-pressed to deny that this is a sensational undertaking in sustainable design regardless of global perspectives – particularly given that it is going on right in the heart of New York City.
Part houseboat and part private floating island, the so-called WaterPod sits somewhere between visionary green architecture and installation art project. Constructed of recycled wood, metal, plastic and cloth and designed to run on solar, wave and wind power, it is intended to become the ultimate off-the-grid, self-sufficient water-based housing unit.
So wait, is it a concept or reality? A bit of both: the real-life plan includes a working prototype that will travel around New York City but remain independent, growing its own food and recycling and filtering water from the notoriously dirty Hudson River.
And in the future? In theory, this is just the start of something much larger … a single unit that could spawn sibling structures to house other individuals. It could be the beginning of a real-life Waterworld or simply a visionary project with a fascinating message, a raucous water-based version of Burning Man or the true beginnings of some kind of futuristic temporary (or permanent) autonomous zone.