Heavenly Abode

Rebuilding New Orleans is an ongoing effort and pitching into the concept-zone is the New Orleans Arcology Habitat or NOAH. Since the details on this structure are in-depth and plenty, lets plunge into them right away. NOAH proposes to be a habitat for 40,000 residents who can benefit from the planned residential units, school system, commercial, retail, hotels, casinos, parking, and public works facilities.

NOAH is based upon the following preliminary program outline.

1. Residential Units / Rental and Condominium; 20,000 units @ average 1100 Sq ft
2. Three Hotels; Average 200 rooms plus associated services
3. Time Share Units; 1500 units @ average 1100 sq ft
4. Three Casino Facilities
5. Commercial Space / Rental and Condominiums; 500,000 sq ft
6. Commercial Space / Retail; 500,000 sq ft
7. Parking Garage / within foundation; 8,000 cars
8. Cultural Facilities; 100,000 sq ft
9. Public Works; 50,000 sq ft / includes storage
10. District School System; 100,000 sq ft
11. District Administrative Office; 50,000 sq ft
12. District Health Care Facility; 20,000 sq ft

Estimated Total Square Footage : 30 million

Location/ Site Specific:

In reviewing all the options and possible sites for NOAH, the most logical location is on the Mississippi riverfront and adjacent to the Central Business District.

Design Challenge:

1. The first challenge is to overcome both the physical and psychological damages of recurring severe weather patterns. Though re-population has begun, the need to provide a stabilized and safe environment is paramount to a long term recovery and economic well being of New Orleans.
2. The second challenge is that New Orleans has too much water. The city has been built at and below sea levels which creates consistently high water table and makes it prone to flooding and storm surges.
3. The third challenge is that New Orleans is built on soil condition which consists of thousands of feet of soft soil, silt and clay. These conditions make building large scale concentrated structures difficult.
Believing that NOAH is a viable plan, our solution to overcome these challenges is to take advantage of these seemingly conflicting issues with the introduction of a floating urban platform.

Foundation Design / Basin

The NOAH foundation system is twofold. The first part of the system is to create a water filled “basin” within which the urban platform (NOAH) will float.

The second part of the system is to create a multi-cavity “hull” which will be the actual foundation for the superstructure.

Basin/Foundation:

The water basin will be a combination of carving into the existing land and extending out into the Mississippi River.
This man made basin is estimated to be 1,200 feet in diameter with a depth of 250 feet.
The walls and floor of the basin would be constructed of high strength concrete with applied lateral bracing and exterior attached tension rings.
Backup intact valves will allow basin and river water levels to remain constant.

The Foundation:

Noah, at its current height of 1,200 feet will rest up its triangulated foundation constituted
to be a buoyant multi-cavity “hull.” This “hull” will consist of high strength concrete cells, forming approximately a 40×40 matrix. This matrix not only gives buoyancy to the structure, it also becomes the framing matrix for the steel framed superstructure. It is estimated that the combined weight of NOAH will draft 180 feet within the water-filled basin, allowing a minimum 50 foot space between the floor of the basin and the floor of the buoyant foundation.

The hull will accept all land connectors as flexible conveyors to take into account any movement.
A triangulate shape has been chosen as the basis for NOAH. For two reasons:

First, the triangle is inherently the most rigid of all structural framing systems. The system is designed to dissipate gravity and severe wind loads through an all-steel applied (eko skeleton) exterior frame and conventional internal framing methodology.

Second, the triangle is an “open” frame configuration, dividing NOAH into three separate “towers” converging at the top. The intent of this open system is to allow all severe weather /winds to in effect “blow through” the structure in any direction with the minimum of massing interference.

Some Other Features:

1. Sky Gardens will be inserted into the three main towers every 30 floors. These sky gardens provide landscaped glass enclosed atria.
2. Vertical commuting within NOAH will be supported by a series of local and express custom canted elevators.
3. NOAH is geared to an all pedestrian environment. Accordingly, only select horizontally based areas will be fitted with moving walkways and/or electric train carriers.
NOAH is a three phase master plan with a proposed 10 year build out. This time frame can be reduced to an estimated 6 years should demand accelerate.

Eco-Highlights:
The structure is designed to expand the horizon of sustainability and will seek LEED certification.
It will eliminate the need for cars within the urban structure, and thus becomes a carbon neutral entity. Internal electric transport links, vertical and horizontal, create a pedestrian-friendly community,
Some of these elements are secured wind turbines, fresh water recovery and storage systems, passive glazing system, sky garden heating/cooling vents, grey water treatment, solar array banding panels, and river based water turbines.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1Flnbn53dY 468 344]

New Orleans Arcology Habitat or NOAH by E. Kevin Schopfer in collaboration with Tangram 3DS

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NOAH Team

Design / Concept:
E. Kevin Schopfer AIA, RIBA

Executive Architect:
Ahearn / Schopfer Associates; Boston, MA
Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.; Cambridge, MA

Associate Architect:
Raymond C. Bergeron, NCARB; New Orleans, LA

Visual:
Tangram 3DS; Kittery, ME

Structural / Mechanical:
Arup; Boston, London

Foundation Consultants:
Acergy; New Orleans, LA

79 Comments

  • Abel says:

    here comes the future!

  • animah says:

    the question is:
    does it float? 😉

    • ranjix says:

      “floating urban platform”, “the first part of the system is to create a water filled “basin” within which the urban platform (NOAH) will float”, “buoyant multi-cavity hull”, … So let’s hope it floats. BTW, that “multi-cavity hull” reminds me of Titanic.

      While in general I find futuristic designs interesting, in this case not sure I enjoy the idea. New Orleans is not exactly Dubai when it comes to architecture experiments, so I find the general design questionable (not to say that it doesn’t fit in context at all). There are other parts which I find dislike-able:
      – the looks alone, it’s like an inflatable life-boat
      – the fact that it floats
      – 1100 sq ft average is too small (2 bedroom average?)
      – the fact that it tries to be self-contained (residential and commercial in the same space)
      – 8000 parking spots for > 20.000 residential units is too little, even if “It will eliminate the need for cars within the urban structure”

      • luchoArQ says:

        Love the animation, but not to sure about the design. You could place it in the middle of the ocean and it would work just fine. I don’t see the connection with New Orleans…

      • Rupash P says:

        With the concept of reducing the reliance on cars, their could be an option adopted within the floating city for rental electric/eco cars, where you wouldn't need to personally own a vehicle, and rent when needed.

      • Rupash P says:

        With the concept of reducing the reliance on cars, their could be an option adopted within the floating city for rental electric/eco cars, where you wouldn't need to personally own a vehicle, and rent when needed.

  • Crystina says:

    It looks like it should be in space! I like the innovation, but it still seems stark and cold.

  • alexander says:

    Honestly, that design truly sucks!!!, c’mon, the real engineers (not architects, “archigays”) doesn’t think in this crap.

  • matthewrex says:

    I’d move to New Orleans, or anywhere for that matter, to live in this space-future-home!

  • Margatron says:

    People there want their normal neighbourhoods and (hurricane-proof) homes rebuilt, not some giant monolithic structure that’s just got the potential for corruption written all over it. Some people don’t even have street lights yet!

    That thing looks like it belongs in Mumbai, not New Orleans.

    • decaPODA says:

      mmmm..EXCUSE ME !!

      “That thing looks like it belongs in Mumbai, not New Orleans.” care to explain more..?

  • KTK1990 says:

    I see a ton of wasted space. They could build inside the pyramid with more stuff. Either more housing, or more ways to generate power.

  • zukny says:

    You gotta love how the video, doesn’t actually show you what is going on inside lol. Still very good video, a lot of time went into designing that video.. I can’t believe this would ever be built though.

  • um really? says:

    isn’t requirement #1 of good architecture/design taking into account the surrounding environment and working in synergy with it? why would you want to pollute new orleans, the grittiest, most historic, old style city in the nation with something that would look gaudy at tomorrowland in disney? utter crap.

  • bjf201 says:

    Wouldn’t the amount of water being displaced to allow this gigantic structure to float increase the volume of flood water rushing into downtown New Orleans. It’s oversight like that which we hear about on CNN post disaster.

  • KyleW says:

    Yeah, this is just what New Orleans needs. A super-safe super-structure to protect the super-rich unless they will be offering low-cost housing…yeah right…

  • spec24 says:

    they didn’t evacuate the city when they were TOLD it was going to flood. What makes anyone think those government pets are going to get on board this thing when the time comes…. again.

  • amuro says:

    Folks in New Orleans live in a city that is largely below sea level, and is sinking every year by a measurable amount over much of its area. Moreover they have historically failed to evacuate when instructed to do so. Add to this the City’s location behind a rapidly vanishing wetland barrier right on a coast renowned for hurricane hits and you have a recipe for disaster. As much as I may love the city, I have to say it is probably reaching the point where it would be best to simply let go and relocate.

  • Hurcoman says:

    This will never, ever be built. Looks like someone is just trying to show off their 3D modeling skills.

  • potter says:

    this looks just like Atlas from the anime shangri-la which has the similar concept of building a megacit in one building. but the design of Atlas looks almost just like NOAH

  • temuge says:

    goddamn

  • Webs says:

    my goodness..!

  • russruss says:

    I hope no public money was spent on this fantasy. Whoever dreamed this up has no respect for the historical significance and character that defines the charm of our city.

  • griff says:

    After watching ships make that turn in the river during high water, it looks more like a target. If it was on the lakefront it could be larger and offer a marina.

    • BOBBY JINDAL says:

      This would be great for the Pontchartrain Beach area behind the UNO technology park. An elevated mag-lev mass transit line down Elysian Fields could provide the link to downtown shopping and nightlife. As for the open space in the interior, i think a mag-lev VAWT would set it off!! 1100 sq. ft. for a two bedroom housing unit isn’t bad compared to a shotgun double. And with all the surplus electricity produced the thing might just pay for itself! Who’s got the cajones?

  • NotImpressed! says:

    First of all, I would like to excuse myself for bad english. Writing I mean, not the tone.

    I think that this building represents the lowest strata of comercial architecture, if can even call it architecture. Since when do we first design a building and then place it in the material world? As a student of architecture I’m tought all the time that architecture doesn’t grow out of nothing. There always exist a historical,cultural,geografical ect. context from whitch a building derives its shape. This tetraedric oversized mass could be placed anywhere in the world with no connection to the local specifics.

    This structure,to me, represents an neoliberal capitalistic architectural utopia.We all saw how private corporations practicaly took New Orleans from the people and privatised it (private army-Blackwater soliders ”rebuilding” NO,private construction lobby’s,privatisation of water and school system…). They made PROFIT out of a natural disaster and people’s misery. Did the world economical and society crisis teach these investors and planers nothing???

    I just love the name of this wonder, its so simbolical. It’s the biblical Noah’s Ark, that will start a new life for private ultra-capitalistic conservative Ogligarchs. So it wouldn’t be so unreasonable and rentable to make it float. Expecialy now when their global empire of exploitation is crumbling and the world is sinking into climate crisis.
    Still not convinced; Look at the program list. From 12 program blocks, just one is public, common and noncomercial, it takes 50.000Sq.feet (30million total). Oh yes,I forgot the storage space is included…. Cmon!!!! The sole existence of this futuristic form is not to upgrade the quality of life. Not for the residents, nor the broader community of New Orleans. It is only maximising profit!

    If I may refer to sustainability to be litle less ideological: The wind turbines are a yoke and it’s clear that they are not meant seriously. Theturbines are standard directional wind propelers, exept they can’t turn towards the wind. So how could they work then? They wouldn’t be very eficient and SUSTAINABLE would they? And how can this overdimensioned phallus be,even remotly, sustainable since it’s made out of materials that consume enormous amounts of energy to be made (ALU,Steel,Concrete…)+if we consider the enviromental costs of transportation from lets say South Korea or China from where the mayority of constr. steel is imported… You do the math!

  • James says:

    designing should be practical not just showing off your 3d designing skills plus it’s never going to be built. Also new orleans needs a solution now not in 20 years time.

  • sam says:

    I hate this- how is this a serious design? its an eye soar in every sense. How can you mess up the pyramidal form? It would be a sad moment if this sees the day of light.

  • Adam says:

    The very notion of arcology living was concieved as a means of respecting our enviroment and 'touching the Earth lightly' so how then have these 'architects' managed to produce this design from the intention of addressing the dire needs of New Orleans? This super structure in no way reflects its social or enviromental context. The most intelligent aspect of the design is the use of floatation to stabalize a large structure over hostile biulding conditions, however this requires massive ammounts of space and material for the basin. If the concept of this structure was that is functioned as some sort of ship/floting city that could travel the oceans that would be spectacular, avoid the blemishing of such a novel and historic city and neccesitate the use of enviromental technologies in order to remain self sufficient. Now that would be jokes. Much like the pitch these architects must have put on.

  • Adam says:

    The very notion of arcology living was concieved as a means of respecting our enviroment and 'touching the Earth lightly' so how then have these 'architects' managed to produce this design from the intention of addressing the dire needs of New Orleans? This super structure in no way reflects its social or enviromental context. The most intelligent aspect of the design is the use of floatation to stabalize a large structure over hostile biulding conditions, however this requires massive ammounts of space and material for the basin. If the concept of this structure was that is functioned as some sort of ship/floting city that could travel the oceans that would be spectacular, avoid the blemishing of such a novel and historic city and neccesitate the use of enviromental technologies in order to remain self sufficient. Now that would be jokes. Much like the pitch these architects must have put on.

  • Kris says:

    forget New Orleans, bring it to Houston!! awesome design, love it

  • Kris says:

    forget New Orleans, bring it to Houston!! awesome design, love it

  • Daniel says:

    it is just moddeling skill show off, no relation with architecture at all

  • Daniel says:

    it is just moddeling skill show off, no relation with architecture at all

  • notb4now says:

    As someone that was living in New Orleans when Katrina hit I applaud solutions, radical or not, to get the city moving again.
    Drop 40,000 residents on the side of the CBD and French Quarter there will truly be a re-birth of the city. I am not a believer in trickle down economics however; with that many prosperous residents added to the community prosperity is sure to follow. Gigantic problems require innovative gigantic solutions.

  • ubaprince says:

    it is possible.structurally

  • Vanovia says:

    WTF????? this building has not been built yet however I cant believe New orleans is seriously thinking about having this eye sore. i know much needs to be done to rebuild but not this. Also u can clearly see the building is going to tower over the FRENCH QUARTER by the the most beautiful part of new orleans history. Now the hanging gardens will die in the shade of this furture scar upon the face of a glorious southern city.

  • ACE Plus says:

    Wow, What a waste of a page. Profit is not a dirty word it is a driving force on why we have cities. WAKE UP and Stop being POOR minded!

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