The WaterNest 100

by James Nicholls on Dec 1, 2015 in Architecture
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The eco-friendly floating WaterNest 100 housing unit was designed and created by Giancarlo Zema together with UK company EcoFloLife (Photo courtesy of Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

The eco-friendly floating WaterNest 100 housing unit was designed and created by Giancarlo Zema together with UK company EcoFloLife (Photo courtesy of Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

The idea of a totally ecological floating habitat is rather appealing in this day and age of city grime, industrial waste, pollution, concrete towers and seemingly endless urban sprawl — but Giancarlo Zema may have found an answer with The WaterNest 100

While the global warming debate rages on, most people have all come to appreciate that whatever the cause, our planet cannot simply be utilised as a strip mine, that we cannot continue to take and take without giving back. Even popular stories, such as James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar, warn us of the dangers of opening Pandora's Box.

There are those who are fighting back, like renowned Italian architect Giancarlo Zema, who specialises in semi-submerged architectural structures, marine parks, floating habitats and yacht design. Having founded the Rome-based Giancarlo Zema Design Group in 2001, Zema is a man whose whole working life is defined by water and the possibility of returning to the blue habitat from which man originally came and which covers over two-thirds of the globe.


In terms of interior fittings, the WaterNest 100 contains a high level of finish and quality fixtures, all designed using recycled and recyclable materials (Photo courtesy of Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

Now, Zema and his colleagues are striving to turn the world on its head. With UK company EcoFloLife, he has designed and created — after many years of research — an incredibly simple but important ecofriendly floating housing unit called the WaterNest 100.

An all encompassing 100 sq-m circular residential unit, 12m in diameter and 4m high, it is made entirely of recycled glued laminated timber upon a recycled aluminium hull, drawing on Zema's expertise in boat design. The WaterNest 100 is designed to be able to float on any calm water area, including the sea, as well as rivers, lakes, bays and atolls, in any temperate climate. Designed and manufactured in a pod system, it can easily be transported and moved should you wish to take it with you.


The WaterNest can be configured as domestic dwelling, office, exhibition or retail space, or even a café or small restaurant (Photo courtesy of Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

Using materials and sustainable production systems means that as much as 98 per cent of the unit is recyclable, and it is classified as a low consumption residential habitat due to its sophisticated internal natural micro-ventilation and air conditioning systems.

This is an excerpt from the "The Life Aquatic” article from the December 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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