Innovation That Matters

Kitala’s design for floating platforms | Photo source Marcin Kitala

Floating houses adapt to rising sea levels in Kiribati


An architect has designed floating platforms to help the people of Kiribati, who are being inundated by rising sea levels

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Spotted: The Young Architects Competitions (YAC) recently posed a challenge for architects  — to design a new model for housing that addressed the threat of rising ocean waters to the island nation of Kiribati. The aim of the competition, called Kiribati Floating Houses, was to “give a future to the populations of Kiribati.”

Kiribati is a small, remote Pacific island nation made up of 33 low-lying islands. The country is one of those most at risk of becoming completely inundated by rising ocean levels – its highest point is just a few metres above sea level. The first prize in the competition was awarded to Polish architect Marcin Kitala for his “Rikki” project. In the native language of Kiribati (Gilbertese), the word Rikki means ‘change of weather over many days’. 

The winning design consists of a system of pentagonal-shaped platforms, which can be easily moved around. Each module is designed to be large enough for up to five houses, 30 inhabitants, a backyard greenhouse, a water purification system, a vegetable garden and solar panels. The idea is that the inhabitants will finish their homes themselves, in the traditional way, as is currently the case in Kiribati.

Springwise has seen how architects around the world have been tackling the challenge of rising sea levels. Some of the innovations covered here include two-story floating homes for coastal communities and an undersea hotel

Explore more: Sustainability Innovations




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