Lonely Planet Writer

Italian architect designs floating sea plaza for Florida's waterfront

Visitors to Florida may one day be able to walk on water, as a proposed design would see a floating plaza built in a narrow sea channel that separates West Palm Beach and Palm Beach.

Currie Park designs.
Currie Park designs. Image by CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI

The plaza, designed by the international design office Carlo Ratti Associati, would use “some of the same technologies employed in the construction of underwater vessels” to create a complex with housing, retail and leisure facilities.

Currie Park designs.
Currie Park designs. Image by CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI

Visitors would be able to walk from West Palm Beach’s city centre into the middle of the lagoon, as the plaza will be partly under the sea level thanks to a system of responsive air chambers similar to the ones used by submarines.

Currie Park designs.
Currie Park designs. Image by CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI

On the floating pier, the space would include a mix of public facilities, including an organic restaurant that would have its own hydroponic cultivations, a circular pool, an auditorium, and a water plaza.

Currie Park designs.
Currie Park designs. Image by CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI

The plaza is designed to fit in with the newly expanded Currie Park as the community looks to transform a 19-hectare vacant area on the Lake Worth Lagoon. The two communities that sit on either side of the sea channel are located in the south of Florida. West Palm Beach is home to Norton Museum of Art, the largest art museum in Florida, the Palm Beach Zoo and more. Palm Beach, one of the wealthiest communities in America, is known for its beautiful public beaches, and Worth Avenue, a quarter-mile of high-end shops.