The competition is now closed.

The jury will convene on June 30 and winner(s)
will be announced shortly thereafter.

Pamphlet Architecture 36

In a world of climate change and refugees fleeing war and political chaos, Pamphlet Architecture calls for proposals based on the concept of buoyancy and lift (“Floating Cities”), visionary solutions providing housing, clinics, and community services to 1,500–2,000 inhabitants with incremental additions while incorporating innovative technologies.

While several Floating Cities were proposed as plans for future architecture in the twentieth-century such as Kiyonori Kikutake’s Marine City (1958), Kenzō Tange’s Tokyo Bay Plan (1961), Buckminster Fuller’s Triton City (1967), and Archigram’s Walking Cities, the twenty-first century adds a critical new urgency to these visionary schemes. With climate change raising the planet’s sea levels, there well may be many climate refugees in the near future. The evolving technologies of solar, ocean, and tidal power, electricity storage, and solar desalination for fresh water improve the potential for new Floating Cities.

With an average ground-level elevation of only five feet above sea level, the island country of the Maldives could be the first nation in history to be fully submerged by the rising ocean. Ice melts at a rate of more than 86,000 square kilometers per year, continually adding to the sea level. In the future, urban habitats that float and rise may be intelligent. New organizations such as The Seasteading Institute—founded in San Francisco in 2008—and DeltaSync in the Netherlands provide topical reasoning for this approach.

This Pamphlet Architecture call is focused on the architectural language and spatial potential of this new type of city. It engages questions of spatial energy, the quality of light, water, and amenities for these habitats.

Three prizes will be awarded:

3rd prize   $1,000
2nd prize   $2,000
1st prize   $5,000
money to be used to develop the winning proposal
into Pamphlet Architecture 36

Members of the jury:

Steven Holl
Principal, Steven Holl Architects

Kevin Lippert
Publisher, Princeton Architectural Press

Thom Mayne
Principal, Morphosis

Christoph a. Kumpusch
Director, Forward-slash (/)

Eirini Tsachrelia
Associate AIA, Adjunct Professor of Architecture

Michael Bell
Principal, Visible Weather

Mimi Hoang
Co-founding Principal of nARCHITECTS