Page C2.1 . 22 August 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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    Postcard from Future Helsinki

    ArchWeek Photo

    Survivors of the flooding due to global warming inhabit floating dwellings of the imaginary Koho society of the future. Wind power stations are anchored in the sea nearby. Image: Katariina Rautiala, Pentti Raiski, and Jun Kojima

    Dear ArchitectureWeek,

    For a course at the Helsinki University of Technology, we imagined a day when global warming had caused the polar ice caps to melt and the sea level to rise, submerging coastlands and whole islands.

    We imagined a core group of social trend-setters and scientists breaking loose before the final flooding to form Koho, a society of the future, and to develop a solution for saving humankind. We designed floating dwelling/ research/ service units of various sizes, shaped to always maintain a vertical position on the surface, even in the most extreme circumstances.

    These structures recognize the sun's position as the source of all life. They collect rainwater in basins with integrated solar panels. Cables lead the solar energy to storage cells and to the households.

    The sizes of communities remain stable and small. Nature repairs and renews itself gradually. The continent is for the time being only used for the collection of raw materials, so the structural parts of the community which have been worn out can be replaced.

    The Koho society, rising from the sea and slowly recuperating from a complete eco-catastrophe, develops a better understanding of life. It show signs of reconciliation with Gaia, the goddess of the Earth.

    In Helsinki imagining the future,

    Katariina Rautiala, Pentti Raiski, and Jun Kojima
    POOK Arkkitehtitoimisto, Helsinki

    ArchWeek Photo

    The floating structures have live/work areas above the water level, waste treatment and storage below. Image: Katariina Rautiala, Pentti Raiski, and Jun Kojima

    ArchWeek Photo

    To feed the population, soy beans are grown in 1900-square-foot (176-square-meter) cultivation basins. Image: Katariina Rautiala, Pentti Raiski, and Jun Kojima

    ArchWeek Photo

    1) wooden rib, 2) drinkable water, 3) kitchen/ living/ working, 4) entrance level/ bedroom/ storage, 5) steel pipe for installations, 6) plywood-aluminium shell structure, 7) bathroom, 8) battery storage cells, 9) separation of urea, 10) greywater, 11) separation of wastewater/ alternative use, 12) clean water storage, 13) surface structure: fiberglass on compressed plywood, 14) keel/ anchoring threads, 15) anchor Image: Katariina Rautiala, Pentti Raiski, and Jun Kojima

    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.



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