The designers of an underwater hotel may not have global warming in mind, but it may be a precursor to future architecture in a world with much higher sea levels.
With underwater hotels planned around the world, the Water Discus concept will be working out ways to build beneath the sea.
Deep Ocean Technology is building the first such hotel in Dubai, offering the opportunity for guests to feel part of the natural habitat.
As shown in the image below, the luxury hotel consists primarily of two giant disk-shaped buildings – one above the water and one below it.
The design calls for the underwater disk to rest 21-stories below the surface, where people in 21 rooms get fish-eye views of surrounding marine life.
Special lighting and underwater viewing technology allow guests to explore the habitat from inside the building, which also includes an underwater airlock where scuba divers enter straight into the ocean.
The above-water disc is anchored to the seabed with five sturdy legs that suspend it high enough to be safe from potential tsunamis or ocean surges. In the case of an emergency, the disc is also completely buoyant and can be detached from the vertical shaft.
The building is modular, so it can be adapted to different environments and coastlines (and sea levels). The independent structures can also be moved to different places, based on environmental or economic considerations.
"Each design will be tailor-made to suit its future users and local conditions, such as the shape of the coastal line and depth of water around the coral reef," says Deep Ocean.
Deep Ocean and its partner BIG INVEST Group, conceive of the structure as being an artificial reef, giving back to the marine environment. They also see it as the center of an international environmental program and center for "Underwater World Protection," with the hotel serving as a laboratory for research.
Construction of a prototype began in early January.
Deep Ocean is teaming up with BIG InvestConsult AG to explore projects in the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, Oman and Martinique.
For more on the Water Discus concept: