Architecture

Shifting horizons: How Monaco is extending into the sea

Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT) January 5, 2018
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Construction has begun on Monaco's $2.3 billion offshore extension project to reclaim 15 acres of land from the sea. DR: Valode & Pistre
Monaco is smaller than New York's Central Park and home to nearly 38,000 residents. Only 10,000 were born locally -- they are known as the Monegasques. VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
But the second smallest country in the world is running out of space. Since the early 19th century, Monaco has expanded an additional 100 acres into the sea, accounting for 20% of its total territory. VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
The planned extension will reclaim the equivalent of approximately 11 American football fields (15 acres) from the sea. Valode & Pistre Architects
The new ambitious offshore extension project -- Portier Cove -- will house an additional 1,000 permanent residents in luxury apartments and villas. DR: Valode & Pistre
Additional public spaces will include a hill and landscaped park, a seafront promenade and a little marina. Valode & Pistre Architects
Private financers will front the $2.3 billion project and are expected to make over $4 billion from the sale of real estate, according to Urban Extension Project Director Jean-Luc Nguyen. DR: Valode & Pistre
The extension will be protected by a seawall consisting of 18 concrete-filled chambers -- called caissons. Bouygues Travaux Publics
The foundation will be filled with quarried rocks and marine sand extracted from northern Sicily. Bouygues Travaux Publics
Prior to construction, protected plant species inhabiting the project area were relocated to nearby marine reserves. A wide variety of artificial habitats will be installed to compensate for the loss of natural habitats. DR: Valode & Pistre
Once complete in 2025, the sun and sea will provide 40% of the district's energy needs, through the use of solar panels and pumps that use sea water to heat and cool buildings. DR: Valode & Pistre
Elongated balconies will provide shade from the sun in summer and help recover heat in winter. DR: Valode & Pistre
The district is designed to follow the curve of the coast so it does not obstruct marine currents. DR: Valode & Pistre
The plan is to install a Mediterranean landscape of tall pines and other native vegetation in order to make the artificial extension feel more natural. DR: Valode & Pistre
Each apartment will span over 4,300 square feet (400 square meters), while individual houses will measure approximately 11,000 square feet (1,000 square meters). DR: Valode & Pistre
The hope is that this eco-district will be a natural extension to the French Riviera, attracting new residents and adding to the appeal of Monaco. VALERY HACHE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images