Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Johan Huibers of Holland with his Ark in the Background

Hello My Friend and Welcome.

It’s difficult to know how to categorize this post. One place to file it might be under: Men with too much time on their hands. Today we’ll be looking at two arks, one realistic, the other futuristic.

For an event that occurred nearly 6,000 years ago, Noah and his Ark remain an ever present reality. Reports of finding the remnants of the Ark on Mt. Arafat surface with surprising regularity. We reported on one such incident in an earlier post Noah’s Ark Found. One of the questions that always seems to come up is, “Could one man and his three sons actually build such a thing?”

Yohan Huibers has answered that question with a definitive, “Yes!” Like most big ideas, it began with a dream. In1992, Dutch native, Huibers had a dream that Holland would be flooded. The following day, he went to a local bookstore and bought a book about Noah's Ark. In no time at all he’d developed a burning ambition to build an ark of his own, but not as a means of survival. A devout Christian, Huibers is quick to point out that God placed the rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant with Noah to never again destroy the world with a flood.

The Size of Huiber's Ark is Clearly Seen when in Dry Dock
If he didn’t have survival in mind, why did he undertake a project of such Biblical proportions? Huibers hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, where, like all of Europe, church attendance has dramatically declined in the past 50 years. He also plans to take his show on the road, or more precisely on the water, and visit major cities in Belgium and Germany.

Huibers, a contractor by trade, worked from a design his wife, Biannca, drew. He admits she didn't really want him to do it, but knowing she couldn’t dissuade him, she said. “If you're going to do it, it should look like this.” He built his ark out of cedar and pine working mostly with his own hands. He used modern tools and, when he needed someone to hold the other end, got occasional help from his son Roy. It took him two years to complete the project.

As you can tell from the photo at the top of the page, Huibers’ ark is big enough to house a giraffe. Using Biblical measurements, it is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide — two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.

When he opened the ark for tours a common comment was, “I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big.” In fact, Noah's Ark as described in the Bible was five times larger than Johan's replica. But even his scaled down model still has enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film theater, where kids can watch the segment of the Disney film Fantasia that tells the story of Noah.

For added realism, Huibers scattered life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals throughout the ark. He also plans to eventually add a petting zoo on the upper deck. In any project such as this, one must always weigh practicality against realism. Looking closely, you’ll notice that Huibers mounted his ark atop a barge rather than float it in the water. In doing so, he avoids the problems of rot and leaks that Noah undoubtedly had to deal with.

Rather than a traveling exhibit, this next ark exists only on paper…well, more correctly, only as pixels, bits and bytes. It is the brainchild of Russian architect, Alexander Remizov. Unlike Yohan Huibers, whose desire to build an ark was fueled by strong religious convictions, Remizov’s motives are purely secular.

Alexander Remizov's Futuristic Ark
He began with a belief not in God, but in modern technology’s ability to counteract the effects of nature. His response to the growing concern about potential natural disasters such as earthquakes, tidal waves, global warming, melting polar icecaps, and even old-fashioned floods, is to design a way around them. He’s a high-tech survivalist who plans to ride out the coming annihilation not in some dismal underground hideaway, but in a football-field-size floating biosphere

Mr. Remizov's architectural firm, Remistudio teamed with the International Union of Architects to create a modern version of Noah's Ark. His Ark Hotel will begin life as a land-based structure. However, when the bad times come and flood waters overtake it, the building will simply rise out of the ground and float away. It is designed to be self-sustaining. Collection devices will capture rainwater, solar panels will convert sunlight to energy and interior greenhouses will produce food. 
Remizov's Ark Becomes Sea-Borne in the Event of a Flood
Like most modern architecture, the appearance of the Ark Hotel is strange and vaguely futuristic. It looks like a high-tech Slinky pulled from the set of a Sci-Fi movie. The design utilizes hi-tech plastics and a combination of wind, solar and thermal energy. The design can be scaled from small to very, very large. In its initial state it would provide housing for between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

It is planned to be independent of any external support systems, such as hydro or electricity, allowing the structure to exist in any locale or climate. Remizov envisions these self-contained survival pods scattered about the earth. “The building would have an organized community with everything necessary for its prosperity and growth. I think that The Ark is a new prototype in the development of green architecture,” he said.
 Our post-Christian world seems to have forgotten that Utopia was a fictional concept.

Until next time, we wish you Peace and Blessings.

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