2013-06-20

Co.Exist

An Underwater Hotel For When The Seas Are Too Damn High

The Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, are very quickly getting overtaken by rising seas. You can see why the gorgeous underwater Water Discus hotel makes a lot of sense.

This futuristic hotel, with 22 underwater rooms, looks unreal. But a Polish company has agreed to build it near the island of Kuredhivaru, located in the Maldives--a group of islands in the Indian Ocean that is threatened by impending sea level rise. It could be ready for its first visitors within a couple of years.

The Water Discus hotel has sections both above and below the water. Two circular structures hold lounges, a restaurant, spa, and another 22 rooms above sea level. The central column has an elevator and staircase. And 30 meters below, there’s a diving center with its own decompression chamber and a bar. The whole underwater section can re-float for emergency and maintenance purposes. It’s held down by water in pools, which is let out, allowing the central column to push skywards.

The idea for the hotel was conceived by engineers at the Gdańsk University of Technology and developed by Deep Ocean Technology, with a research grant from the European Union. The $55 million building is partially financed by Big Invest Consult, a Swiss company. Other projects using the same design, including one in Dubai, are in the planning stages.

The Maldives also has other creative hotels in the works, including this floating paradise. Given that climate-driven sea level rise could overrun the country, it makes sense to think differently. Deep Ocean spokesperson Marta Pomykala says it’s possible to move the entire building, if need be.

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