Given that roughly half the world’s population lives within 125 miles of a coastline, some architects and developers are looking to the sea. The Netherlands has floating offices, a floating dairy farm, a floating pavilion, and a community of 30 floating houses on a canal in a former manufacturing area. The Maldives government, with developer Dutch Docklands, is building a floating neighborhood in a lagoon 10 minutes by boat from Malé, the nation’s capital. French engineers Nicolas Derouin and Arnaud Luguet have designed a yacht that looks like a condo, with a flat roof and open-concept floor plan. Lower the retractable hydraulic pilings to the ocean floor, and the boat stabilizes. In a storm, the pilings and jack-up system can lift the boat out of the water, protecting it from a storm surge.

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