Researching Other Worlds

The first step we have to take in designing a floating city is figuring out where it could float! Our main options for this are in the sky, the ocean or in space, so I feel like it is a good idea to get an idea of what floating cities exist in games and movies to gain inspiration for our own project.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Skyloft

Skyloft is a floating town above the clouds over Hyrule and is where both Link and Zelda were born and raised. It is made up of many small islands which according to the history of the land were sent into the sky by the Goddess Hylia. This is very similar to some of the earlier concepts my group did where the different areas in Rome were split over a series of floating islands or buildings which are reminiscent of those which exist in Rome as we know it.

Brink – The Ark

This floating city clearly gets a lot of it’s influences from the boat city in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong where many people spend at least 9 months of the year living in their boats and with floating markets which have now become a tourist attraction.

In Brink, The Ark had originally been an experiment to see whether or not the concept of a ‘self-sustaining city of the future’ was plausible, but with rising sea levels, the floating city became a refuge for thousands of people. Looking at this and the concepts for oceanscrapers done by actual architects really has inspired our project and pushed us forward.

Star Wars -Ahto City


Ahto City was the only above surface city anywhere on Manaan and was made by the Selkath to accommodate the offworlders who came to the planet.

It is a shell-shaped city, with a “base” that slopes down into the water, which uses a buoyancy system to stay afloat. The area around the city’s centre was filled with hangars and landing zones used mainly in the planet’s main trade, the export of Kolto, a healing liquid.

Star Wars – Bespin’s Cloud City


Cloud City is a completely man-made city which hovers over the planet of Bespin .and was used as living areas for those who mine and process Tibanna gas. In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Bespin’s floating city Cloud City hovers suspended by an anti-gravity pod approximately 59,000 km from the planet’s surface, within the planet’s ‘Life Zone.’

Because of this, the station has no airlocks or life-support systems as the atmosphere is comprised mostly of oxygen and at this distance there is liveable levels of gravity and a tolerable temperature.

Stargate – Nox Floating Cities


In Stargate, the main population of the Nox  live in floating cities above their home planet of Gaia, which float and hold a relative position above the world. It is also able to turn invisible, though it is never explicitly stated whether this is an advanced form of technology or is an extension of the Nox’s ability to turn invisible themselves.

Call of Cthulhu – R’yleh


H.P. Lovecraft spoke of a submerged city in the South Pacific which was the prison of Cthulhu which was then brought to life in John Coulthart’s illustration. It is characterised by it’s strange architecture which is likened to non-Euclidean geometry, made up or strange domes and sphere’s unlike those which exist in the known world.



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