This proposed city of $559,000 floating pyramids is seeking 'citizens'

Pierpaolo LazzariniA rendering of Wayaland, a conceptual city of modular, floating pyramids.

Around the world, coastal cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Some future-looking architects and city planners believe that floating neighbourhoods – in which buoyed homes could rise with water levels to avoid flooding – as a possible solution.

An Italian architecture firm called Lazzarini Design Studio has created a conceptual design for a floating city, dubbed Wayaland. The plan calls for luxury pyramid-shaped houses powered by solar energy, which CEO Pierpaolo Lazzarini hoes to build off the coast of the United Arab Emirates or Italy.

But Wayaland still in a very early phase of the design process. This month, the firm launched a crowdfunding campaign to build the first pyramid, which it expects will cost around $US420,000 ($AU559,000). According to the campaign, the first investors could choose to become “citizens” of Wayaland if its home country chooses to recognise the development as an official city.

Take a look at the concept below.


Lazzarini Design Studio envisions Wayaland as a city of 20 floating pyramids.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

There would be 10 homes, three hotels with a total of 20 suites, two restaurants, and five smaller buildings for other uses still to be determined.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

One of those pyramids could contain a floating greenhouse, according to the early plans.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

Lazzarini imagines the greenhouse would grow a range of crops, including greens and tomatoes.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

The largest building would be 100 feet tall and include 10 floors, with a total surface area of about 72,100 square feet.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

Lazzarini Design Studio has not yet determined what the homes would cost.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

But they would certainly be luxurious.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

The pyramids’ designs were inspired by a combination of Mayan and traditional Japanese architecture, Lazzarini told Business Insider.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

Made from fibreglass, carbon fibre, and steel, the structures would be attached to the ocean floor with four cables. They would rise and fall with water levels.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

Solar energy would power each building.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

The pyramids would also be motorised so that owners could move them.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

In the center of the pyramids, there would be an area where residents or visitors could dock their boats.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

The first pyramid to get built, according to the plan, would serve as a small, two-story hotel. It would cost approximately $US420,000 to construct, and the firm hopes to raise those funds through a crowdfunding campaign.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

To be the first to visit the hotel, investors would need to donate at least $US1,200 (the cost for each nightly stay). If the team doesn’t finish the project, backers will receive full refunds.


This isn’t Lazzarini’s first project on water. The designer started selling an egg-shaped motor boat, called the Jet Capsule, in 2013.

Pierpaolo LazzariniThe Jet Capsule by Pierpaolo Lazzarini.

Realistically, the chances of Wayaland being built are slim. Architects with similar visions have had trouble getting their designs off the ground. Cities often have strict environmental regulations against constructing floating neighbourhoods in their coastal waters.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

But as of now, the firm hopes to complete construction of Wayaland’s first pyramid by 2022.

Pierpaolo Lazzarini

You can see more elements of Wayaland’s design in the video below.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.