Best of Inhabitat: 6 Super-Cool Floating Homes and Habitats

It used to be that rising tides due to climate change were just a far-off fear - now they're a present-day reality. But we all know that humans are a race of survivors, and some of the best designs come out of the necessity to adapt to environmental changes and challenges. So while we're working on actually mitigating global warming, architects, designers and visionaries are one step ahead, imagining homes, buildings and entire cities situated above or even beneath the surface of the world's oceans. Check out our favorites that we've seen "floating" around. + This crazy-looking tentacled underwater skyscraper is a self-sufficient floating city that can harvest renewable energy and grow its own food.

+ If you've been following news about the Maldives, you know that the island nation is being threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change. But they aren't going out without a fight. Just last week, the government signed an agreement to develop several mini floating islands!

+ This floating home designed with San Francisco's dockside communities in mind is so beautiful and modern that it pains us for anyone to call it a mere "houseboat."

+ Okay, so technically this isn't a home or habitat, but it's definitely something you want to check out if you're interested in how we can make wind power more of a viable option. Installing offshore wind farms currently involves a lot of problems from underwater soil erosion and disruption of marine life to extravagant maintenance costs, and Hexicon's platform alleviates many of these issues.

+ As if taking a trip to the spa wasn't luxurious enough already, what if it were located on a private floating sanctuary? This lush garden island has baths, saunas, and treatment rooms all wrapped in a verdant shell of greenery designed by vertical garden mastermind Patrick Blanc.

+ Plunging to depths of about the same height as the Empire State Building, the Gyre is a full-fledged underwater city that is powered completely by the sun, wind and ocean.

—Written by Yuka Yoneda
Inhabitat is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Follow us on Twitter @inhabitat or join us on Facebook.

Tags: Architecture | Buildings