This coastal city that blocks tsunamis is inspired by the shape of mangrove roots

This coastal city that blocks tsunamis is inspired by the shape of mangrove roots

The Tongan volcanic eruption on January 14, 2022 created a major tsunami hazard for the entire Pacific Rim. The Pacific Rim is said to be the most prone to tsunamis, given its connection to all four major tectonic plates. It is natural for the area’s architecture to evolve to keep up with this unique threat, and that is what the Tsunami Park Skyscraper aims to do. This eVolo Skyscraper award-winning architectural design models itself in the shape and pattern of mangrove roots that help break waves and currents by almost instantly slowing down water currents to help distribute their impact.

“Mangroves are communities of woody plants in the intertidal zone of tropical and subtropical coasts, with developed root systems and vertiginous growth, which have the best effect on tsunami mitigation,” the designers mention. “Thus, the skyscraper is inspired by the tsunami resistance principle and mechanism of mangroves, and consists of a single unit aggregated to form a vast complex along the coastline. Each cell consists of a lower pillar and a multi-tiered upper platform. The lower pillar is made up of thick concrete columns that form a porous structure to dissipate the enormous force of the tsunami, while the upper platforms are of different sizes, heights and interconnections to transport people’s lives.”

Designers: Wang Jue, Zhang Qian, Zhang Changsheng, Li Muchun, Xu Jing

Skyscrapers have two functional states: a normal state and a disaster state. The great towers loom many meters above the shoreline, and while they created something of a raised city to live in, the base of their massive vertical columns creates the perfect area for tidal fishing and water bazaars (like those found in Thailand). ). This is where people gather for recreational activities like fishing, swimming, and boating.

However, before a tsunami warning, the low-lying areas are evacuated immediately. When the tidal wave hits the skyscraper, it immediately breaks into much smaller waves that instantly dissipate as the skyscraper park’s mangrove root columns slow the water. Water is also sucked into these columns and channeled into an underground desalination area for treatment (this also happens daily, at high tide). “Our solution strategy is therefore to turn a disaster into something, which means adapting to the tsunami, rather than fighting it. Transform the catastrophic nature of the tsunami into a gift of nature for humanity”, mention the designers.

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