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Polish scientists want to build an underwater hotel

02.12.2011 Technology
Photo: www.deep-ocean-technology.com

Photo: www.deep-ocean-technology.com

Watching coral reefs up close will be possible at the underwater hotel, designed by scientists at the Gdańsk University of Technology. Prototype Water Discus Hotel, as the structure is called, will be built in the Gdynia port, then the building is to be an attraction in the Maldives.
"The idea is to allow people to spend the night under water" - said one of the designers, Dr.. Lech Rowiński from the Faculty of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology of Gdańsk University of Technology.

He explained that the building will consist of two disks resembling saucers. One will be positioned above the water surface, and the second under water. Smaller "satellites" will be attached to the upper "saucer". The whole structure will be based on legs, the number of which will vary depending on the needs of each structure.

The smaller satellites will house hotel restaurants, equipment for water sports. "The main part placed above water will contain the reception desk, swimming pools, and for those who do not want remain under water all the time, a sun deck, where guests can sunbathe" - said the scientist.

In the part immersed under water, hotel guests will be able to admire coral reefs through glass walls. "Coral reef is a wall inhabited by fish and sea animals. If we raise this building somewhere near the reef, it will be visible only from one particular side of the building. Therefore, to make sure that everyone has a chance to see the reef at least once or twice a day, the saucer will rotate"- explained Dr Rowiński.

For safety reasons, the hotel will be built like a ship. "We prepared it for all possible dangers. In the event of failure, the bottom disk can emerge independently, without energy supply - he stressed. - We try to design a safe structure, which will not make prospective hotel guests feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable because of the closed space".

He noted that attempts are being made in the world to build this type of structures, but it is not yet a "widely exploited idea". Why the idea to build such a structure? "In our view there is a market demand, it is a niche and we should fill it" - said the scientist.

For the time being, a prototype structure will be built in the port of Gdynia. "It will look like the real thing, only with the smallest reasonable size" - explained the scientist. The structure designers would prefer to see it in the Maldives.

"W designed the building for the Maldives, because of suitable climate, adequately deep water, abundance of coral reefs, no special storms, and very developed tourism. It should be an attractive location" - said Dr. Rowiński.

"The smallest possible structure could cost EUR 30 million. In the case of building something bigger, then the quality will cost in proportion to the mass" - he explained. He admitted that an investor interested in commissioning the construction of the hotel has yet to be found. "We carry out such talks in various places in the world" - he added.

Work on the construction of the hotel are conducted by the company Deep Ocean Technology. Research part of the project is supported by the Gdańsk University of Technology researchers.

Detailed information about the Water Discus Hotel is available at: http://www.deep-ocean-technology.com

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland, Ewelina Krajczyńska

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