Scientists and engineers from the Faculty of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology at Gdansk University in Poland have teamed up with other Polish scientific and R&D institutions to come up with a landmark underwater hotel.
The Water Discus Underwater Hotel, as it is called, may not be the first but plans for the Dubai venue call for the biggest site of its kind.
The group’s background in designing manned and remotely-operated underwater vehicles and deep-sea equipment for seabed exploration has led Deep Ocean Technology to transferring this knowledge to buildings.
Water Discus Hotels comprise two discs, one underwater and one above water. The two parts of the structure are connected by five solid legs fixed to the seabed and a vertical shaft containing a lift and stairway.
A modular-based design, Water Discus can be expanded into a bigger resort complex if necessary. Each underwater disc is an independent structure with a usable area of approximately 1,000 square metres consisting of 21 fully-equipped hotel rooms.
Satellite discs located five to seven metres above the water contain a restaurant, spa and recreation zone, while the rooftop contains saltwater pools and exotic gardens.
If any changes in environmental or economic conditions occur, the Water Discus modules can be moved.
The Deep Ocean Technology website highlights the concept’s flexibility and mobility.
“This offers a unique opportunity to live underwater on a permanent basis with unlimited options to change locations,” it reads. “The mobility makes changes in interior design of a hotel much easier, as any disc can be detached and replaced with a new one.”
Understandably with a building of this type, safety is paramount. The hotel’s monitoring system is integrated with an international earthquake and weather warning system so that in the event of a catastrophic event, any underwater disc automatically surfaces. Each of the satellite discs has been engineered for positive buoyancy, which means that they can be used as lifesaving vessels after being detached from the main body of the upper disc.
The team has used its background in the building and operation of boats, ships, offshore structures and professional diving systems to ensure that the design, construction and technical condition of the complex are under appropriate permanent supervision
Transport facilities have been designed not only to support logistics but also to improve safety. The upper deck of the complex, for example, is connected to the shaft and can be used as a landing pad for helicopters, ensuring quick and convenient access and exit.
Amenities at Water Discus include, among other things, a four-metre deep diving pool, a cave and wreck diver training facility, air-filled huts and emergency breathing stations equipped with surveillance cameras.
Special courses have been designed for pilots of underwater tourist vehicles, which are a permanent element of the infrastructure.
Building company Drydocks World has signed a contract with Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult to develop underwater hotels throughout the Middle East region, including the Water Discus Hotel.