In 1970 a number of architects raised the possibility of us living in the Arctic. The inhabitants of the Arctic already exist and small human settlements have been stable for hundreds of years. However, the idea here was more ambitious: Place an entire city under a huge dome to protect its residents from the elements. So the crazy project The Arctic City was born.
To understand the departure of the arctic city, we must Understand the time and context in which this city was conceived. We are talking about the second half of the 20th century, when architecture experienced one of its climaxes in certain trends. Strong economic growth after the world wars, large investments in technological development, and factors such as the willingness and caution of the Cold War also had a direct impact on architecture.
At this moment We had just arrived on the moon and everything seemed to be possible for humans. We dreamed of cities on the moon and soon even on Mars. Cities where the state was responsible for investing and managing everything, as we had already tried here on earth. In addition, they liked the idea of settling in extreme areas in order to overcome man’s strength against nature. And why not start at the North Pole?
An (inflatable) dome in the middle of the North Pole
The idea came from the German architect, engineer and visionary Frei Otto. In the past decade, he had started to grow in popularity and stand out for his crazy ideas. Among them the Use of traction and inflatable structures. The pavilion at Expo 67 in West Germany deserves special mention.
They came up with the same idea Create a gigantic dome two kilometers wide. An inflatable dome big enough to hold an entire city below. Pneumatic dome? More or less. It would be made from cable mesh and a polyester fiber that replaced steel to reduce its weight and have flexibility. There would be translucent layers between the grids for sunlight to penetrate. The dome would be about 240 meters high at its maximum point.
So the idea was to dig the area first to make a bigger hole. Then the dome would be placed and inflated. Once that was done, construction would begin on the city itself, which would be close to a port and an airport. And in addition would have a nuclear power plant that not only supplies energy but also heat to maintain stable and comfortable temperatures in the dome.
Like everything planned state city Worthy of the name, it would have one area reserved for housing, another for industry, and another for central administration. All of this is connected by underground railroad tracks and the ring road in the dome.
The city was designed to have practically everything. From town hall and parks to educational centers, hospitals or botanical gardens. Indeed, to face the polar days and nights (considerably longer) The dome would also act as an artificial sun Deliver light.
The idea, however does not go far beyond the sketches and first technical details. There were many, many things to solve in order to achieve this. As far-fetched as it sounds, some of it made sense. It was a gigantic investment, but with the aim of taking great advantage of the exploitation of the North Pole’s natural resources.
The obsession with living under domes
The idea of live and create cities under huge domes Protecting yourself from the outside is something that has preoccupied us for a long time. For example, it’s Elon Musk’s idea for the colonies of Mars. In fact, people are already working on whether this is feasible.
But if there is one experience of cities under domes that stands out, it is undoubtedly Biosphere 2. As we saw then, it was an extraordinary project that was done in the 90s and that I wanted to be a perfect replica of the world. Its inhabitants have been living completely isolated from the outside for months and if there is a conclusion that can be drawn from it, it is still very complicated to reproduce the world and deal with nature man.
Via | Hidden architecture
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