Floods are known as an overflow of water that submerges dry land. Floods are the second most common natural problem for buildings all over the world after forest fires. Generally, human-induced changes to the environment and climate change increase the intensity and frequency of floods, and this causes concern for the environment. However, it is possible to take various measures that reduce and control all these concerns with architects, construction engineers, and urban planners. Especially, architects play a significant role in these precautions. To decrease the adverse effects of floods, architects try to solve this problem flexibly with strategic steps by combining geography and urban planning. Architects define whether the designed house or building is at risk of floods first, and architects determine what causes the floods. Determining the causes of floods beforehand is beneficial for architects because several factors may cause floods. For instance, heavy precipitation, severe winds over water, tsunamis, failure of dams or levels, and more may cause floods. Architects practice some methods of flood control for reducing all of these causes’ adverse effects. These methods include flexible urban plan solutions on a macroscale and structural solutions on a micro-scale. Flexible urban plan solutions present an urban vision that increases urban living standards and turns problems into advantages. Therefore, architects prepare master plans for areas prone to flooding. Structural solutions include many solutions, such as installing permanent flood levees, using flood-resistant materials, using flood-proof equipment, separating rainwater from the sewer system, installing water infiltration and attenuation systems, and using sustainable drainage systems.

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Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet1
Floods_©tiero

Architects respond to floods by creating innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding using all these solutions. In this article, I shall examine Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding as flexible urban plan solutions and structural solutions.

C.F. Møller Architects: Storkeengen (Stork Meadow)

Storkeengen (Stork Meadow) is a landscape solution that brings the town of Randers closer to the Gudenå River to prevent floods. The project, which struggles with urban’s rising rainwater levels, firstly involves collecting water from roofs, car parks, and roads and distributing it to Storkeengen with the help of water channels, then water collected there stored in treatment pools. Thus C.F. Møller Architects intend to install a new embankment between Storkeengen and Gudenå River. Storkeengen (Stork Meadow) also presents citizens accessible nature experiences along the river with unique flora and fauna, with recreational activity areas and new routes. Another feature of the project is that the citizens are close to the region’s grazing animals and the citizens have a trip on the Gudenå River by canoe. In short, the transformation of Storkeengen into a public nature park solves urban’s current and future water problems, besides contributing to the development of Storkeengen.

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Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet2
Storkeengen (Stork Meadow)_©C.F. Møller Architects
Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet
Storkeengen (Stork Meadow)_©C.F. Møller Architects
Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet4
Storkeengen (Stork Meadow)_©C.F. Møller Architects

Baharash Architecture: Water Boulevards 

Baharash Architecture promotes green infrastructure and sustainable living with Water Boulevards in flood-prone London and finds a hybrid solution to reduce flood risk. This hybrid solution is to design the prone to flooding as a green corridor network. Water Boulevards basically focuses on three issues: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability. Water Boulevards recycles water with Economic Sustainability, improves and stores water with Environmental Sustainability, and encourages community water management with Social Sustainability. Along its green spine, Water Boulevards also opens its users’ spaces, gardens, and events for everyone to experience. It presents a unique and healthy forest environment with ponds that help to passively reduce the risk of flooding, activity areas that serve people, playgrounds, and tranquil meadows.

Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet5
Water Boulevards_©Baharash Architecture
Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet6
Water Boulevards_©Baharash Architecture

Tredje Natur: Climate Tile 

Tredje Natur proposes a hybrid solution for water management and urban development in sustainable cities with Climate Tile. According to Tredje Natur, the availability of sidewalks in all cities and covering too much space constitute the potential project area of Climate Tile. Climate Tile operates in København. With the implementation of Climate Tile on sidewalks, both the widening of the sidewalks of København and water management in København is possible. Climate Tile collects rainwater from roofs and sidewalks, turning it into a resource and minimizing the risk of water damage. Thus, it makes a positive contribution to København’s drainage system. Climate Tile is also smart flooring with low-tech and high-tech add-ons, such as reading the current water level, facilitating the installation of urban furniture, and providing climate data.

Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet7
Climate Tile_©Tredje Natur
Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet8
Climate Tile_©Tredje Natur

Landprocess: Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park 

Landprocess responds to flooding in Bangkok, designing a climate-sensitive city with urban green space, with Centenary Park. Unlike other public parks in Bangkok, Centenary Park, with its massive green roof, meets the needs of urban green space and invites Bangkok to water management. Rainwater moves down through Centenary Park’s topography, creating a water circulation system in Centenary Park. Thus, Centenary Park, which includes various ecological design components, purifies the water with its filtration system. The design and environmental impact of Centenary Park, which sits on a gradual slope of 3 degrees, is not limited to Thailand. Users see the view of Bangkok from the green roof, the highest point of Centenary Park. Thus, Centenary Park communicates with every person in the city. Under the green roof are covered with natural grass and weeds, there is a museum and parking.

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Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet9
Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park_©Landprocess
Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet10
Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park_©Landprocess

Tredje Natur: Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning 

Tredje Natur’s Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning, deals with three different topics in cities: water management, parking problems, and urban green space design. Tredje Natur finds solutions to the increasing problem of parking and lack of urban green space in the 21st century due to urban condensation, with climate change issues. Therefore, it is not only parking and urban green space for the city but also water storage. It gathers these three independent functions, demanded in the city, with a single mass, and thus it minimizes the construction cost. Water storage is empty in daily use, and only parking serves in Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning. But in the case of heavy rain, Archimedes’ principle, which is the inspiration of Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning, runs. The car park mass moves upwards with the buoyant force of water underneath. The round form of the water storage and the car park helps this. The car park mass creates the view of the city by rising. The two lower floors of the car park also are closed to ensure stability. As a result, it is possible to say that Tredje Natur aims to provide a new kind of experience to people, besides finding a solution to the water problem.

Architectural response to floods- Innovative design ideas for areas prone to flooding - Sheet11
Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning_©Tredje Natur
Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning_©Tredje Natur

Reference List

  1. Online sources

C.F. Møller. 2021. Storkeengen (Stork Meadow). [online] Available at: <https://www.cfmoller.com/p/Storkeengen-Stork-Meadow-i3327.html> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

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Wbae.com. 2021. Waggonner Ball » Project » Mirabeau Water Garden. [online] Available at: <https://wbae.com/projects/mirabeau_water_garden> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

Bustler. 2021. Transforming London’s Royal Docks into “Water Boulevards”, runner-up entry by Baharash Architecture. [online] Available at: <https://bustler.net/news/3403/transforming-london-s-royal-docks-into-water-boulevards-runner-up-entry-by-baharash-architecture> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

TREDJE NATUR. 2021. CLIMATE TILE – TREDJE NATUR. [online] Available at: <https://www.tredjenatur.dk/en/portfolio/climatetile/> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

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Landezine-award.com. 2021. Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park « Landezine International Landscape Award LILA. [online] Available at: <https://landezine-award.com/chulalongkorn-university-centenary-park/> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

TREDJE NATUR. 2021. POP-UP KLIMATILPASNINGSLØSNING – TREDJE NATUR. [online] Available at: <https://www.tredjenatur.dk/portfolio/pop-up/> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

Ashleigh Clarke. 2021. How can architecture combat flooding? – Ashleigh Clarke. [online] Available at: <https://ashleighclarkearchitects.com/2020/09/26/how-can-architecture-combat-flooding/> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

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Publications, I., 2021. Flood Control and Disaster Management | IWA Publishing. [online] Iwapublishing.com. Available at: <https://www.iwapublishing.com/news/flood-control-and-disaster-management> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

  1. Images/visual mediums

[Image 1] Floods. Available at: https://www.istockphoto.com/tr/foto%C4%9Fraf/evde-su-gm961304768-262505342 [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 2] Storkeengen (Stork Meadow). Available at: https://www.cfmoller.com/p/Storkeengen-Stork-Meadow-i3327.html [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

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[Image 3] Storkeengen (Stork Meadow). Available at: https://www.cfmoller.com/p/Storkeengen-Stork-Meadow-i3327.html [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 4] Storkeengen (Stork Meadow). Available at: https://www.cfmoller.com/p/Storkeengen-Stork-Meadow-i3327.html [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 5] Water Boulevards. Available at: https://bustler.net/news/3403/transforming-london-s-royal-docks-into-water-boulevards-runner-up-entry-by-baharash-architecture [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

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[Image 6] Water Boulevards. Available at: https://bustler.net/news/3403/transforming-london-s-royal-docks-into-water-boulevards-runner-up-entry-by-baharash-architecture [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 7] Climate Tile. Available at: https://www.tredjenatur.dk/en/portfolio/climatetile/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 8] Climate Tile. Available at: https://www.tredjenatur.dk/en/portfolio/climatetile/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

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[Image 9] Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park. Available at: https://landezine-award.com/chulalongkorn-university-centenary-park/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 10] Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park. Available at: https://landezine-award.com/chulalongkorn-university-centenary-park/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

[Image 11] Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning. Available at: https://www.tredjenatur.dk/portfolio/pop-up/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

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[Image 12] Pop-Up Klimatilpasningsløsning. Available at: https://www.tredjenatur.dk/portfolio/pop-up/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2021].

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