Dubai had announced plans to construct a different underwater hotel, Hydropolis, in 2006. Projected to cost 300 million pounds to construct, it would have stood as one of the world’s most expensive hotels, home to an array of facilities including a cosmetic surgery clinic and a marine biological research laboratory. After a series of delays, the hotel remains unbuilt. In the intervening years however, Dubai has embarked upon a staggering array of peculiar structures, including the soon to be surpassed world’s tallest tower their now infamous island atlas, which last time we checked, is still sinking.
This latest—intentionally—submerged project, looks to have the backing to become a reality. And, if not constructed in the planned location, Deep Ocean Technology have made design plans adaptable to varying sea levels. Formed of a ‘stacked’ structure of discs, DOT explains that “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.” And if that particular area of Dubai were to fall out of fashion for any reason, well, DOT has thought of that: “If any changes in environmental or economic conditions occur, the Water Discus modules can be transferred to a different place. This offers a unique opportunity to live underwater on a permanent basis with unlimited options to change locations.”
The discs which form the hotel are themselves surprisingly versatile. Mounted atop three legs and a vertical shaft containing an elevator and stairway, the discs themselves are interchangeable. From an interior design standpoint, this allows for renovations to be conducted offsite, with minimal disruption to business. Equipped with monitoring and warning systems for safety, the above water discs have “positive buoyancy, which means they can be used as lifesaving vessels after being detached from the main body of the upper disc.”
It would also appear that DOT conceives of the hotel as some form of artificial reef structure, working with the underwater environment while providing facilities for tourists to enjoy the view. Bogdan Gutkowski, President of BIG INVEST Group, who are representing DOT explained to World Architecture News, “Water Discus Hotel opens… new opportunities for ecology support by creation of new underwater ecosystems and activities on underwater world protection. Additionally we would like to create here in the UAE the international environmental programme and centre of the Underwater World Protection – with Water Discus Hotel as a laboratory tool for oceans and seas environment protection and research.”
Images courtesy Deep Ocean Technology