NEWS

News Item

Posted: 24th February
By: rlf

Construction news: the world’s first underwater village

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live underwater? Well the reality may be closer than you think. Now that’s what we call construction news.

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut recently revealed his plans for ‘Aequorea’ – the world’s first underwater eco-village.

Designed as an alternative place for us to live in order to reduce our carbon footprint, the village would comprise of a series of inverted skyscrapers, or ‘oceanscrapers,’ made from 3D-printed algoplast – an invented composite material made from algae and rubbish.

At half a kilometre wide and 250 floors high, the jellyfish-inspired structures would spiral down to depths of 1,000-meters and be ultra-resistant to hydrostatic pressure and marine whirlpools – significantly reducing motion sickness.

Renewable energy

The oceanscrapers wouldn’t require dangerous fossil fuels as they would produce their own energy and heat. The air would be renewed naturally by convection through wind chimneys found in the tower, or by an oxygen station. Fresh drinking water would be produced by a power plant.

Once built, the ecosystems would continue to self-build through natural calcification in the same way sea shells do — by fixing the calcium carbonate contained in water to form an external skeleton.

20,000 aquanauts

Each oceanscraper would contain enough homes and offices for 20,000 aquanauts –the population of a medium-sized town such as Newquay in Cornwall. They would also house science laboratories, sea farms, agricultural areas, and shared orchards with grass and food gardens.

Callebaut says that it would be possible to farm fruit and vegetables inside the eco-villages, while other sources of food would come from coral reefs, farming fields and fish in the ocean.

The inhabitants of the utopian structures, called the People of the Seas, would invent new underwater urbanization processes to mitigate ocean acidification and pollution, while living in a self-sufficient way.

Each eco-village costs £1,430 per square metre to build and Callebaut suggests they could be spread across the world’s major oceans.

Reality

The aquatic city is brought to life through impressive renderings and a letter written to the ‘people of the land’ by a fictional ‘aquanaut’ resident of the city.

Callebaut’s letter makes it clear that Aequorea is an “eco-political” statement on the world’s rampant consumption of natural resources and thoughtless dumping of plastic in our oceans.

“They were consuming the city like a commodity rather than a common good that should be nurtured in symbiosis with nature,” reflects the letter on our present day.

It concludes with the message: “Never forget this: oceans produce 50 percent of our planet’s oxygen. They are the most active lung! Well worth the trouble of cleaning to re-enchant our living together, don’t you think?”