Building Sea City

A passionate team of experts are struggling to realize a dream, a dream of bringing dead land to life and creating a ‘sea-city’ in the middle of the desert.

2 x 60 minutes for Discovery Channel UK and worldwide distribution

A ‘sea-city’ in the middle of the desert

Eighty five miles south of Kuwait City lies a near-barren landscape of sand and silt baking in some of the hottest temperatures on the planet. Little lives or grows here, and few people have ever chosen to live here.

Until now.

That’s because one man had a vision of a new kind of city – a sustainable and environmentally beneficial city – using the sea to bring new life to where little had existed before.

Pearl City is a ground-breaking engineering marvel that’s slowly transforming the Kuwait coastline. The completed project will cover 11 million square metres and house 70,000 people. Unlike the grand projects of Dubai and other nearby states – where millions of tons of sand and earth have been dropped into the sea – Pearl City is bringing the sea into the land in a series of newly constructed lagoons.

By cleverly exploiting the natural power of wind and tide, the plan is for 180 km of new beach lapped by clean water, regularly flushed through without the need for any mechanical pumping. The idea is to create a new eco system of clean inland waterways, for those living alongside them and for the species that are already flourishing in this newly created habitat.

It may sound simple. But it isn’t. The engineers and designers building Pearl City are facing and solving problems of environmentally-friendly construction in some of the harshest conditions on the planet. The team’s expertise and ingenuity are been tested by building amid a vast area of waterlogged ground that will not initially bear the weight of a house, ensuring that the newly created beaches will not drift away, and that the twice daily tides will flush the lagoons to keep the water from stagnating.

This stylish, lavishly photographed HD documentary follows the team on the ground in Kuwait as they race to beat critical deadlines while the temperature rises to the extremes of mid-summer. There are bridges to finish, water gates to be built and installed, millions of cubic metres of dynamic compaction to be done – literally smashing the ground flat enough to bear the weight of buildings on it – and mangrove plants to nurture at the absolute northern limit of their possible cultivation. All this before new lagoons can be flooded in late 2009, and while the first families are already moving into their new homes alongside the first flooded lagoons.

It’s not just about the big machines – although there will be plenty of those – it’s about a passionate team of experts who are struggling to realize a dream, a dream of bringing dead land to life and creating a ‘sea-city’ in the middle of the desert.

Sales & licensing

Building Pearl City is available for worldwide sale via Electric Sky, 1 Clifton Mews, Clifton Hill, Brighton BN1 3HR, UK

tel: +44 (0) 1273 22 42 40
fax: +44 (0) 1273 22 42 50