If there?s an intractable urban problem, whether involving housing thousands of people or preparing for an attention-grabbing event, there is always a one-step solution: Make it float!
This is Qatar?s plan, at least, for the 2022 World Cup. Faced with mounting criticism of its preparations for the event, and worries that it will not be able to manage hosting the thousands of attendees, the Gulf state has decided to look into several floating hotels that together would be capable of handling upwards of 25,000 people.
Designed by Sigge Architects in collaboration with Global Accommodation Management, the floating hotels would be linked to the mainland by boats and new transit lines. Ostensibly temporary, they would sit just offshore from Doha but would be equipped with their own utilities and power supply. Though this would undoubtedly be an expensive project, Qatar definitely has the resources to accomplish it. Just look at the plans for the Zaha Hadid-designed stadium?very spendy indeed.
While the designs may be luxurious, and their interiors draped in chic leathers and brocades, floating buildings are an inefficient solution to a temporary problem. When the event is over, will the hotels be towed to another location? Or will they sit offshore, slowly rusting like abandoned oil rigs?