With an average ground level of 1.5 m above sea level, the Maldives is the lowest county on the planet with its highest point ending at 2.3 m. above sea level. The country is in dire straits as sea levels are set to rise 59 cm above sea level by 2100. This pace would likely be accelerated if natural disasters are to be accounted for. The 2004 tsunami affected many of the inhabited islands of the Maldives, where only 9 islands escaped flooding. 57 islands faced serious damage to its infrastructure, 14 had to be completely evacuated, and 6 were decimated.
Physical destruction aside, the flooding of the Maldives would also signal the destruction of the proud Maldivian culture, as well as the complete loss of the identity of its people and sovereignty. While plans were made to buy land in India, Sri Lanka and Australia to keep the country going, it essentially makes people strangers of the Maldives in foreign countries. It is possible, perhaps, that this country of 400,000 people can live in vertical structures floating in its own waters. That way the legacy and memory of the Maldives can live on, albeit in vastly different repetitions. At the same time, the republic in this new form can continue to be supported by its famous tourism industry. The floating states of the Maldives may still be recognized as a series of islands, but are essentially technical wonders of buoyancy and altitude. The network of towers soars up to a maximum of 1000 m above sea level and their keels plunge 1000, below, courteous total areas of up to 56 times that of the combined Petronas Twin Towers, maintaining the density of its capital, Men. As the population increases, more modules can be added to the structure, increasing the heights of the towers and expanding the network, like land reclamation, only by floating. So we have a dialogue between the tallest and the lowest in the world, close by; looking down the remains of his previous generation of housing, proudly looking up to a new age of urban lifestyles. Floating states of the Maldives — a new paradigm of new sovereign states.
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Summer is outside, and if we are going to the sea, it’s time to decide where and what you take with you.