The Ark Hotel – Saving Humanity from Itself

358506-ark-hotel

In 1972, a movie entitled “Silent Running” arrived in movie theatres.  Bruce Dern portrayed a scientist named Freeman Lowell, the caretaker of a greenhouse affixed to a space station.  It contains the remnants of Earth’s vegetation; a refuge for flora devastated by overpopulation and war.  The film was among a gallery of entrants into the science fiction genre that, in the 1960s, had metamorphosed from alien creatures wreaking havoc upon hapless Earthlings to a frighteningly futuristic world where we are our own worst enemy.  With Earth’s population now at 7 billion, and the planet’s resources being stretched, this is becoming more of a reality.

Against this horrifying backdrop comes the “Ark Hotel,” a joint Russo-Chinese venture designed by the International Union of Architects for a project called Architecture for Disaster Relief.  Looking something like a prehistoric sea creature, or a ‘Slinky’ on steroids, the dome-shaped structure is comprised of wooden arches, steel cables and a self-cleaning plastic layer instead of glass.  It’s adaptable to either land or water usage.  The myriad arches and cables distribute the weight evenly; thus it can stand earthquakes, tsunamis and perhaps rambunctious toddlers.

Daylight filters through the sturdy glass to reduce the need for lighting.  Its solar panels and rainwater collection system provide inhabitants with power and water.  An internal garden provides some semblance of a landscape for guests and / or inhabitants, which in turn, act as a greenhouse.  The same lighting setup might allow for vegetable gardens.

Ark-Hotel2

Regardless, the Ark Hotel is either an extraordinary example of ambitious engineering or more proof that planet Earth is overpopulated.  It seems to be no coincidence that the term “ark” is part of its name.

Ark-Hotel-Futuristic

Ark-Hotel-Summer

Ark-Hotel-Winter

1 Comment

Filed under Curiosities

One response to “The Ark Hotel – Saving Humanity from Itself

  1. I remember that one, ingenious. Don’t you wonder, could it really be done?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s