London Britannia Airport, a floating airport proposed to the British government by global architecture firm Gensler, could be the coolest building ever made… If it ever gets approved. A hypothetical alternative to the publicly protested plan to expand London’s Heathrow Airport, Britannia would be the world’s first floating airport, breaking ground on an idea that architects and governments have been trying to achieve since the 1940’s.
Floating on the Estuary of the River Themes, London Britannia would feature a single hub terminal, surrounded by four floating runways, which would tethered to the riverbed for stability. Heathrow airport currently features two runways, so the floating airport would be much better equipped to handle the city’s increased air traffic than even a thoroughly renovated version of London’s airport.
An airport is only part of the proposal, though. Transportation would obviously be a serious issue for the floating structure, so the proposal includes a new high-speed railway dug under the riverbed that would not only be connected to London, but to European rail lines that would allow international travelers to reach destinations across Europe. In addition to the transit hub, the proposal includes plans to turn the defunct Heathrow airport into a so-called “eco-city”, which would potentially provide homes for as many as 300,000 people.
This level of insane vision doesn’t come cheap, though. Gensler estimates that the project would cost £50 billion ($80 billion USD). Given the price tag, the large number of legal hoops, and the sheer insanity of whole project, London Britannia will almost certain never come to pass, but that doesn’t make it any less cool to think about.
- Or we could just build a Star Trek home theatre!
- Or a house on top of a mall!
- You think a fleet of these might help?