As often as it is forgotten, architecture has an incredibly rich religious history. Some of the greatest architecture feats globally have been those of biblical construct, although in modern times an association between the two is often unheard of.
Bringing this tradition back to life in a very modern construction is the “Ark” by Russian architect Alexander Remizov, founder of Moscow architecture firm Remistudio.
Much like its biblical textual predecessor, the Ark has been created as a refuge for those affected by rising sea levels.
Joining the likes of Vincent Callebaut and his ingenious designs such as “Coral Reef” and the “Lilypad” prototype, Remizov utilises natural and basic surrounds to solve a humanitarian issue, in turn taking steps to reverse said issue.
The design of the hotel/housing structure has been likened to a slinky. The entire building curves in on itself, looping “slinky-like” to create a complete circle, half underground or underwater dependant upon the buildings location.
The site specifications for the construction include a total floor area of 14,000 sqm and the capacity to house up to between 5,000 and 10,000 people, according to its scale.
Timber pre-fabricated arches are built solidly in culmination with steel ropes to develop the buildings framework. The exterior covering material is made up of Ethyl TetraFluoroEthylene (ETFE) due to its highly durable, transparent and sustainable nature. Metal profiles fix the lighter than glass material to the framework, and also act as gutters for rainwater run off and solar collectors for heating water. Prefabrication means the structures can go up quickly, and the carefully considered materials mean that the building is sturdy and safe.
On a humanitarian level, the design brief emphasised two major points. The first was maintenance and security; the idea of creating an environment that was safe from the extremes of natural weather disasters. The second was the societal carbon footprint. In the same focus of Callebaut, both designs have been created as safe havens that do not create further harm.
On a sustainability level, the Ark is a completely closed unit, energy efficient body. The cupola on top of the building acts as a central bearing tube which creates a synergy between inside and out, giving the building greater energy affectivity. Fresh air is able to enter through the cupola creating energy generation through wind and thermal energy processes. Photoelectric cells are placed in view of the sun to aid in further energy generation.
Due to the translucent nature of the rooftop material, an entire garden habitat is able to grow in the centre of the building, creating a bioclimatic environment. The layout that surrounds is flexible, with independent communities given the freedom to design their environment.
As stated earlier, the Ark is suitable to on land on sea environments. It has been created as such in order to be resilient to both land and sea catastrophes.
Remizov’s dome-like architecture feat is emphasising to the world that sustainable resilience structures are not only logical, but they are also achievable. This new wave of futuristic architecture is taking from the past like never before in order to offer a solution to an incredibly modern day issue.