Hydroplate architecture is coined here to describe design research of very large floating structures (VLFS), also known as megafloats. Such analysis should be conducted by landscape architects to increase understanding and professional knowledge of infrastructure in waterscapes and the role of land/coastal architects in the ongoing development and design of these new engineering and industrial technologies. Hydroplate infrastructure is defined to include marine space planning, utilizing floating synthetic landforms with potentials for resort and leisure developments, artificial islands, public spaces and civic expansion.

Architectural oversight during product development is necessitated by the end use of this marine product which includes their application as people-places, transportation, pedestrian and other architectural jurisdictions. Such artificial land masses have social meaning and experience unique to the peculiarities of man-made landscapes. Such VLFS substrates could find increasing use for destinations and entertainment early in their application in order to produce revenue to subsidize their installation. Therefore, architects of land and waterscape infrastructures and particularly destination and coastal archtitects should begin to take account of how human health, safety and welfare issues might develop on such projects.

A typology of hydroplate architecture should be developed related to the current forecast for VLFS technologies. Research should note that ultra-large floating plates provide solutions to many architectural concerns for coastal development. Island/coastal locations depend greatly on the utilization of ocean space for their socio-economic development. Floating marine landscapes, as an alternative to reclaimed land is shown to provide environmental and cost savings when utilizing deeper sea coastal areas. Some nations have used up to fifty percent of their shallow sea expansion options and megafloat technologies are being considered and, in fact, built as a solution.

The quality of life, historical and social impacts of such systems urgently need investigation. IDAD is reviewing the VLFS concepts and has developed defining directives which respond to the possible professional concerns of architects. The consequences of implementation of VLFS revealed by architectural analysis spearheads IDAD's studies. Research architects outside naval architecture may be surprised and impressed by the magnitude of new developments in VLFS. Conferences should be sought by educational and professional architecture to better understand the construction, materials, ocean engineering and design collaboration opportunities internationally.

Areas of known advantages of VLFS as landform are as follows:
1. Floating structures have less impact on the natural marine environment than land-fill/land reclaimation of coastal zones.

2. Shallow coastal waters can be retained while less sensitive deep sea coastal waters are utilized by VLFS.

3. Connection of VLFS landforms to existing coastal facilities are easily carried out.

4. VLFS landscapes can be utilized regardless of the sea depth or subsoil condition.

5. Earthquakes produce virtually no damage on VLFS.

6. VLFS have life expectancies of over 100 years and can be easily moved.

7. VLFS have less impact on the environment than conventional site development practices.

8. VLFS is the most cost effective of all deep sea - to dry land development techniques.

World Wave Atlas
Atlas of Oceans
Global Fresh Water