The Dutch have long been the leading pioneers of land reclamation with great success – but what are the alternatives?
Conventional property being what it is and price/space ratios continuing to rise, it begs the question "what and where can we build next?"
We take a look at variety of ideas on what property construction in the future might hold.
Polish company Deep Ocean Technology have ideas in the pipeline for a hotel that sits both under and above the waterline with some very futuristic modular style designs that could be easily expanded upon as needs permit.
Mainland construction invariably creates large amounts of excess soil that needs to go somewhere. In a bid to kill two birds with one stone, conceptual plans exist for creating an island - HavvAda Island capable of housing up to 300,000 people from the billion cubic meters of spoil that will be produced by Turkey's plans to build a canal connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
The Trilobis Lilypad is a floating eco-friendly concept design to accommodate 50,000 people and be self sufficient. With no projection on quite what it would cost to build, one can only guess that at present it might be a little prohibitive to say the least.
Low-depth underground living spaces have existed for many years – most converted military installations that can tend to have a rather sterile feel about them apparently - and a few mainstream large-scale projects have proven to work like Montreal's Underground City (with the odd setback on occasion).
The underground metro system in Montreal was the main precursor to the city's continued existence and is (for the foreseeable future at least) likely to be one of the most widely used concepts on which alternative living accommodation will be designed.
Arguably man's first housing – natural cave formations have been used as living spaces to shelter from the elements since the dawn of time. Advances in technology have allowed more adventurous cave designs and conversions to develop into a more practical day-to-day housing option in some parts of the world.
China is reported to have some 30 million cave dwellers in the Shanxi province with demand reportedly high
Low Earth Orbit
As wacky as it might sound now, one Barcelona based designer has produced plans to construct a space hotel designed to orbit the earth at a distance of around 450km travelling at 30,000km/h. Set up in 2007 and original launch dates set for 2012 – it's not really a great surprise that it still isn't up and running and full of guests just yet.
With any venture that involves property development off the planet, there are numerous problems to solve – a couple of initial concerns are getting the thing there in the first place and keeping it in orbit against the will of gravity.
Even before the space race began – man has looked to the skies in wonderment at the possibilities – scientists have long seen the moon as a potential stepping stone to further the exploration of space itself.
The astronauts lucky enough to have gone for a stroll on its surface have reportedly complained about the cramped living quarters of the Apollo landing craft inspiring designs for better accommodation.
NASA conveniently has a "how to" page on its site with respect to building your own moon house, although personally I was not that convinced when I got to the list of materials needed that starts with "148 sheets of newspaper":
At first glance, property in deep space might sound even more crazy an idea than low orbit – but if mankind ever uncovers a way to create a perpetually sustainable way of living in space it would certainly be worth considering. Chances are - given the costs and practicalities involved – deep space living appears to be unlikely until earth itself comes under threat of annihilation. Nonetheless, it hasn't stopped a (now denied) Whitehouse petition to secure funding, resources and design for a Death Star.