10 architectural marvels built on water

Top 10: the best sights on the water

floating forest

It’s no secret that you can endlessly look at three things: out the window, on your page in VK and on the water. And if the first two statements, for some reason, all strive to challenge, with the latter the world community is in solidarity. The following examples only prove that anything is cooler when you put it on water.

So here’s a great plan for the summer: head to the beach and don’t get out of the water until the first frost. Who knows, maybe this rule applies to people, too?

Amazing sights on the water from around the world

10. Floating Forest

floating forest ship

Sydney, Australia

The British ship SS Ayrfield was built in 1911. Back then, no one guessed its hidden superpowers. Casual passersby who caught sight of this vessel would stare at it indifferently, thinking, “What an ordinary British vessel…sir.”

Then came World War II. Australia used the SS Ayrfield to deliver supplies to American soldiers in the Pacific. The occasional American soldiers who came across it didn’t see its hidden potential, either. But they were understandable – it was customary at the time to pay more attention to the Japanese than to the Australian transport ships.

After the war, the ship delivered coal from Newcastle to Sydney until it was anchored firmly in 1972. That’s when her amazing superpowers came to light. After standing for several years in Homebush Bay, northwest of Sydney, Ayrfield developed a love of nature, became a vegetarian and covered herself in mangroves. But Australians aren’t surprised by green ships: people, hardened since childhood by neighborhoods with kangaroos and stingrays, aren’t surprised by ships.

In 2000, when the Sydney Olympics took place, an Olympic village was erected on the beach where the ship was moored. Impressed foreigners quickly spread the word about the curiosity and the Internet became enriched with thousands of photos of the beauty in front of the city.

9. Boat Market

floating boat market

Banjarmasin, Indonesia

On the island of Kalimantan is Banjarmasin, a city with a population of about 500,000 people. It is located at the confluence of two rivers, so there are often floods and many homes are built on stilts. And market vendors have gone even further – they trade directly on the water, causing a genuine delight to visiting tourists. From 5:00 am on the river begin to appear narrow boats loaded with fish, fruit, vegetables and various goods that residents of the surrounding villages are brought into town.

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I wonder what the local glamorous ladies look like as they “shop” for their pleasure? For starters, they would have to get their own boat and learn how to row – without that you can’t go shopping. And instead of small decorative dogs it would be more practical to get some aquatic animal that will not drown – a beaver or an otter…

However, even without such excesses, the market looks exotic enough that it allowed it to become one of the main attractions of the city without any advertising. The traders quickly oriented themselves and now, among the usual goods, you can find funny souvenirs for visitors. True, to admire this action, you will have to get up early – by 9.00 am the market “closes”. Fortunately, on the coast there are a lot of cafes, where you can cheer up a cup of coffee.

8. Skateboarders Ramp

skateboard ramp on the water

Lake Tahoe, USA.

Everyone has seen the videos on YouTube, where poor skateboarders, trying to do another trick, end up with a spectacular fall on the asphalt. Judging by the number of likes under such videos, other people’s pain gives a lot of happiness to humanity. However, some of these guys, tired of such a lot, invented a great way to avoid injuries – enough after another somersault to land not on the concrete, but in the waters of Lake Tahoe. True, it helps to be accompanied by an experienced diver, because Tahoe – the second deepest lake in the U.S. (its maximum depth – 501 m).

Unfortunately, mere mortals will have to continue to land on the pavement. The ramp was built as part of the California’s Dream 365 tourism campaign for one of the world’s best skateboarders, Bob Burnquist. And even though we won’t be able to ride it, it looks great all the same. Burnquist’s “ride” itself starts at 1:45 of the video, with Jerry Blom and Jeffy King talking about how they built the thing for the first minute and a half.

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7. Golf Course.

water golf

Idaho, USA.

The Coeur d’Alene Resort is a gorgeous vacation resort with a golf course located in northern Idaho. Americans who crave peace and unity with nature come here to relax, go boating, take spa treatments, or play golf. First of all to play golf. After all, it is an unusual golf course for 14 holes, designed by the famous designer Scott Miller, that brought fame to this place.

We are talking about a floating island, on which there are the last four holes. Those lucky ones who manage to score a ball on this piece of land are taken to the island by one of the shuttle boat cabs. But this task is certainly not easy – every year divers have to pull thousands of balls from the bottom. However, such difficulties only attract customers – this place is very popular among golfers and welcomes many fans of this, like, sport.

6. Floating islands of the Ouros tribe

the uros island tribe

Lake Tiquicaca, Peru

It was a popular Inca pastime to fight with other tribes and seize new lands. And, admittedly, before the Spanish conquistadors came along, they did it successfully. The Uroz tribe, who lived near the mountainous Lake Titicaca, decided not to tempt fate on the battlefields, and quietly and calmly hide. For this purpose the Indians built floating islands of reeds, on which entire families with all their belongings moved. The islands were quite voluminous – their thickness varied from 1.5 to 2 meters, which allowed them to bear serious weight.

Gradually, these islets were consolidated into complete settlements. The reeds had to be constantly renewed to keep the island from rotting, so there was enough work: some were engaged in reeds, others were fishing, and some even managed to grow something. So the Uros have maintained their authenticity to this day: many of them still live in their houseboats, although young people, of course, gradually escaping to the “mainland”. Particularly resourceful Indians organize guided tours, which are quite popular. However, they say, there are still settlements that prefer to lead a secluded life, shunning outsiders.

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Dutch Docklands The Ocean Flower

The Ocean Flower – a project by Dutch Docklands

Of course, nowadays the houses on the water are not a surprise. The Dutch company Dutch Docklands, which is currently working on The Ocean Flower: a hotel complex of 185 villas, is rightfully holding the palm in the realization of floating houses. And after all, the Uros tribe had the idea of building dwellings on the water hundreds of years before it became mainstream. So they certainly deserve a place in this ranking.

5. Floating Cinema

overwater cinema

Yao Noi Island, Thailand

Against the backdrop of Archipelago Cinema, all these newfangled cinemas with IMAX look absolutely bland – as we know, the water surface has excellent acoustic properties. But even if a movie theater on the water had no sound and a piano accompaniment, it would still be the coolest place to watch new movies. A huge screen set against two huge boulders and an auditorium on a floating raft – what could be more magnificent?

You have the German designer Ole Schieren to thank for this magnificence. But don’t be too quick to declare him the greatest benefactor of mankind – this structure was built especially for the Film on the Rochs Yao Noi festival, which took place in the Bay of Bengal. After the festival, the theater was dismantled and the raft was returned to the local fishermen. So those who want to enjoy an unprecedented spectacle can only hope that next year the organizers will decide to organize the screening of movies on the water again. Just imagine how great it would be to watch some “sea” picture like “Pirates of the Caribbean” in 3D, feeling the smell of the sea and the light evening breeze.

4. The Badeschiff pool on the river

Berlin underwater pool

Berlin, Germany

The word “Badeschiff” can be translated from German as “bathing ship” – the name perfectly describes the pool, which is located on the river Spree in Berlin. It was created in 2004 – the future swimming pool had been standing on the river as an unsuspecting barge for a long time before it was spotted by the guys from the architectural firm AMP Arquitectos. They turned the old vessel into a full-fledged swimming pool. At first glance this looks like some kind of bohemian whimsy, so don’t jump to conclusions. In fact, the Spree River is too dirty, so you can’t swim in it. So the pool gave the citizens an alternative opportunity to swim in their favorite river. Almost in the river.

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The pool is located near a former industrial complex: the once abandoned building was reconstructed by various design and art organizations, so that today it is a whole shopping complex with restaurants and stores. And the pool from the old barge fits perfectly into the whole picture. Yes, it doesn’t look as delightful as the Sea Cove Cinema, but unlike many of the other amazing structures on this list, Badeschiff isn’t part of some advertising campaign or festival. The pool is always open to the public and, given its imposing size, 8×32 meters, can accommodate all comers.

3. Stadium on Water

floating stadium Singapore


It’s true what they say – there’s nothing more lasting than the temporary. This rule has worked in Singapore. In order to demolish and rebuild the National Stadium from scratch, it was necessary to build a temporary structure for soccer matches, which was called Marina Bay Floating Platform. To this end, in 2007, a platform measuring 120 x 83 meters and a grandstand opposite was installed near the shore, which can seat up to 30,000 people.

The new structure turned out to be very functional: not only soccer matches, but also concerts, parades and exhibitions were held there. Everyone liked the water stadium so much that it is still successfully used today and hardly anyone would dare to call it “temporary”. No wonder that the stadium has become famous: I would have liked to see the ball boys jumping into the water after an inaccurate kick… And if the losing team was thrown overboard, soccer would have become more entertaining.

2. opera festival in Bregenz

bregenz stage on water

Bregenz, Austria

Many people think that opera is pretty boring, albeit poignant. But even people infinitely distant from classical art will be forced to abandon such views when they see the opera festival, which has been held every year since 1946 in the Austrian town of Bregenz. One of the main events of the festival is the construction of a huge stage on Lake Constance, where an opera production is staged before an audience of 7,000.

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Every year the organizers of the festival come up with something extraordinary: here are just some of the images that have been realized in the scenery on the lake over the years. As you might guess, these images are directly related to the theme of the opera being shown. The festival lasts about a month: during this time, tourists from all over the world come to enjoy the show. Tickets cost from 30 to 280 €, and there are no problems with selling them – so the cost of expensive decorations fully pays off.

The Viva artificial floating island

floating island Korea

Seoul, Korea

Artificial islands nowadays don’t surprise anyone. Especially the people of Dubai – the island is always artificial and one of them is even more beautiful. But Koreans do not look for easy ways (the North Koreans do, but we are not talking about them), so they created not a simple island, but a floating one. Seoul authorities don’t hide the fact that they built the island for attraction of tourists. Because Viva is the biggest island among similar ones. It is absolutely autonomous and floats without any help.

Viva is the central figure in the composition of three floating islands. All three islands are connected by bridges. There are centers for water sports, restaurants, exhibition and concert halls. For example, the island of Viva boasts a concert hall for 700 people, located on one of its 3 floors.

floating islands Korea

The architects of this structure were bitten by tree huggers, so in every way they tried to make the island environmentally friendly and safe. Some experts even call it an “ecological miracle”. Viva is powered solely by the installed solar panels, the power of which is enough to cover all the energy costs.

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