Very similar in nature to the Commercial Frame Complex, the Commercial Concrete Complex would also be a very direct analogy to the final Aquarius colony structure and would likely employ its exact same Tectonic approach to design, though initially it would be limited to a simple radial shape following the usual 'Chinese Mansion' organization. Most likely employing a modular precast component structural system using a 'post and slab' arrangement in a simple square grid matched to the grid of the ferro-cement floats, it would adopt curved shapes by employing interstitial edge pieces to accommodate curved forms that are sacrificed whenever the structure is expanded or reconfigured. A special feature of this construction unique to the TMP projects would be the addition of a grid of formed-in aluminum climbing form sockets on all appropriate structural surfaces. Matched to the standard Utilihouse component grid, this would be used to allow easy retrofit of Utilihouse components for interior finishing of this largely generic concrete structure as well as attachment of infrastructure and facade components, walkways, hydroponics gardening containers, drainage panel for large area soil cover, and many other fixtures.
The best design example for settlements based on this construction is Richard Roger's Parc Bit design -a 1990s eco-tech design project for a high-tech business campus in Spain. Parc Bit employed minimalist terraced structures of concrete as the core for a flowing series of structures (following landscape contours) covered in spots by a 'floating' retrofit planar glass cladding in airfoil shapes that were designed exploit both passive solar gain and wind to moderate interior temperature. This created a conjoined community structure with weather-sheltered avenues and alternately enclosed and open spaces that relied on retrofit in-fill structure to define the function of specific spaces -the exact strategy likely to be employed with the Aquarian Tectonic approach to design on a much grander scale. Of course, in the case of this Seed settlement, the overall form would be radial and a vertical division of space use (industrial/utility on the bottom, commercial above, and residential on top) akin to that of the Commercial Frame Complex would most likely be employed. As with the Commercial Frame Complex membrane domes and the like are also a possibility for the enclosure of common garden spaces, even if asymmetrical in outline. Because this form of construction so well integrates with the float platform structure -which is largely based on the same materials and technology- it would be able to sprawl more freely at its perimeter edges, thus offering the possibility of enclosed lagoons fully integrated into the 'landscape' of the overall structural form. This may offer residents a choice between access to the common garden space or access to a waterfront. This is also a characteristic of the Organic/Ferro-cement Complex concept.
Because this Commercial Concrete Complex is such a close analogy to the architecture and structure of the full scale marine colony, it would have the most uniform pattern of evolution to the full scale colony of any of these structural and design concepts. But it would be an expensive building technology to employ from the start without the benefit of an established commercial construction infrastructure as part of the Foundation CIC. And like the Commercial Frame Complex it cannot expand and adapt as freely and spontaneously as structures like the Utilihab Complex can. Thus it would rely more on the generic nature of its primary structure and the adaptability of in-fill retrofit structure, starting larger to provide room for early growth while going through fewer larger scale phases of structural expansion. Most of the other types of settlement would likely adopt this construction technology by their intermediate development stage, since only this and the Organic/Ferro-cement Complex approach offer a path of growth past that stage.
- Utilihab Complex
- Resort Prefab Complex
- Container Mod Complex
- Commercial Frame Complex
- Organic/Ferro-cement Complex