Giant Floating Tower Is an Offshore Home for Urban Animals

Those animals living in big cities can have a hard time of it, fighting with humans and urban structures for space and resources. To give them a break, architecture firm Waterstudio.NL has designed a fanciful, eye-catching solution. The Sea Tree is a floating tower habitat for birds, bees, bats and fish and closed to humans, to be built outside urban centers.

The Sea Tree, which Waterstudio.NL leader Koen Olthuis has announced for January 2014 for a non-disclosed client, will be moored to the seabed by underwater cables. Its levels will be covered in greenery; its inner, central open area will be fit for bats and its underwater section could house an artificial reef.

Olthuis calls it a "scarless floating development," as it doesn't take up any land space. He presents it as a potential way for corporations to improve their public image:

The idea is that large oil companies donate a sea tree to a city showing their concern for a better city environment by using their own intellectual property.

Waterstudio.NL only designs floating structures, and they're not always environmentally focused. But unlike the $500 million floating golf course announced for the Maldives, the Sea Tree will benefit natural ecosystems. While I think it's fantastic in renderings, I wonder if it will ever be built, and how practical a solution it really is.

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