Islands have always been one of the most beautiful forms of landforms. Human endeavors have enabled us to create artificial examples of these fascinating pieces of land. We’re so unbelievably creative that we’ve established residences, hotels, industries, theme parks, museums, and almost anything you can imagine on the man-made islands. Here is a list of 10 of the most amazing artificial islands from around the world.
1. Jurong Island
Off the southwestern coast of Singapore lies the country’s largest outlying manmade island known as Jurong Island. It was formed by joining up several offshore islands through successive land reclamation work. The work was completed in September 2009, 20 years before the schedule.
Jurong Island serves the primary purpose of hosting Singapore’s multiple chemical and energy industries. It is the country’s operational base for leading petroleum and petrochemical companies.
The development of the island started in the 1960s and ’70s when oil companies set up three oil refinery facilities on the disintegrated islands. Reclamation of the islands started in 1995 and was completed by 2009.
Initially, the S$7 billion projects were divided into three phases, but they weren’t sufficient. The total area of the islands was less than 10 square kilometers in the beginning, but towards the end grew up to 25 square kilometers.
In 2000, the industrial area employed more than 6,000 people including workers from foreign countries like Thailand, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, and China.
The total investment for Jurong Island is estimated to have been more than S$35 billion, and it produces 34% of the country’s manufacturing output. The next aim is to improve the hub’s competitiveness and sustainability by also focusing on switching to environmentally friendly fossil fuels. (1, 2)
Across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo, the Odaiba is an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan. The area was first developed in the 1950s to defend the capital Tokyo against sea attacks. It was only in the 20th century that land reclamation work was commenced and it became a separate district. Now Odaiba is seen as Tokyo’s one of the most popular tourist attractions.
“Daiba” in Japanese translates to “fort,” suggesting that the island is built by connecting small man-made fort islands. The fort islands were made during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868. The primary purpose of making these small islands was to protect the capital city of Tokyo against sea attacks, especially the gunboat diplomacy of the Commodore Party.
These multiple islands were forged more than a century later into large islands by massive landfills. This project was aimed at making the area the perfect place for business and residential purposes. However, the futuristic program came to halt in the early 1990s as a consequence of the burst of the Bubble Economy, and Odaiba was left vacant.
The second half of the 1990s saw intense recovery with hotels, trains, and shopping malls being made. Now the area is famous for entertainment, dining, leisure, and shopping activities. It also features some of the boldest architectures including the Fuji TV Building, Telecom Center, and Tokyo Bog Sight. (1, 2)
3. Banana Island
Bana Island is an artificial island located on the foreshore of Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. The name of the island is based on its curved shape, and its planning has allowed it to be mixed with residential, recreational, and commercial buildings. Most importantly, the place is a billionaire’s paradise because it houses the country’s wealthiest people.
This billionaire’s paradise is 1.6 million square meters of land divided into 500 plots of varying sizes. The making of the place was completed in the year 2000 with well-developed infrastructure and lavish houses.
The island is the country’s largest city and is occupied by the nation’s richest and most famous families. The uniqueness of the island lies in its peaceful atmosphere because of its seclusion from the loud city of Lagos.
The Ocean Parade Towers on the island is a series of 14 luxury tower blocks that are built strategically to give the residents a 180-degree view of the lagoon. Some of Nigeria’s international corporates such as Etisalat NigeriaFord, Foundation Nigeria, and Olaniwun Ajayi & Co are also notable.
The late-Chief Adebayo Adeleke was a civil engineer who was responsible for the development of the city. The project was first referred to as the “Lagoon City Project,” but given its shape, it had to be renamed. (1, 2)
4. New Holland Island
A historic triangular artificial island resembling Amsterdam known as “New Holland Island” is situated in central Saint Petersburg, Russia. Also known as the “Admiralty Island,” it dates back to the 18th century when it was first built for timber storage. New York architects have been working on it recently.
The island lies between the Kryuko Canal, the Admiralty Canal, and the Moyka River in St. Petersburg. It was created in 1719, which was also the time when the two canals were built.
Peter the Great seized the opportunity to convert the place into a naval port and built a wooden palace for himself nearby. However, the name “New Holland” was a brainchild of the Tsar.
The wooden buildings on the island were finally turned into stone structures in the second half of the 18th century. This project started in 1765 and continued for the next 15 years.
This was also the period when the architect Jean-Baptiste Vallen de Mothe designed the most famous building on the island known as the Monumental Neoclassical Arch. It took him nine years to complete the complex structure. The island was used as a warehouse for the Leningrad fleet in the Soviet Era.
An accidental fire in 2004 destroyed multiple historic structures on the island. However, now the place is open to the public and hosts a variety of events. (Source)
5. Palm Islands
The famous Palm Islands are three artificial islands located off the shores of Dubai, UAE with private residences and luxurious hotels. The main beautiful island, Palm Jumeirah, is entirely made of sand and rocks and looks like a palm tree from the sky.
The rest of the islands are known as “Deira Island” and “Palm Jebel Ali.” Construction of all three islands started in 2001 and was mostly funded by Dubai’s massive wealth created due to petroleum.
Nakheel is the real estate company responsible for the development of the project. The company is publicly owned by the government of Dubai.
The infrastructural construction was finished towards the end of 2004, but the buildings required three more years to fully develop. Therefore, the residents were able to occupy the place only starting in 2007.
It is fascinating to know that no concrete or steel was used in the construction by the orders of the ruler of Dubai. The idea and design of the project were also given by him.
More than 10,000 people living on the island enjoy the lavish services of huge malls and villas. The two islands other than Jumeirah are larger but are not fully developed. The progress was stopped because of economic instability. The two islands are going to resemble a map of the world after their full-fledged completion. (1, 2)