Facility at Sea

Dvice – Architect Jason Mellard sketched up a design for a sustainable marine facility he hopes will allow researchers easier access to study marine and avian life. Where did he look for inspiration? Mellard cites the Star Wars movies, wildlife and offshore oil rigs as examples, and his designs remind us a bit of the iconic Cloud City of Bespin from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (the last picture in the gallery below).

Sitting on poles, the modules slide down under the surface, giving scientists an underwater home from which to study and document in comfort and safety. Each disk could hold 1,000 people and would be highly compartmentalized, and have watercraft for transportation to and from other disks and the shore. The various modules house anything from places to sleep, kitchens, classrooms and labs, and a typical stay at the research facility would last from six months to a year. Bad weather conditions would be defended against by submerging or rising back up.

All together, Mellard estimates the project would cost as much as a skyscraper today — from $500 million to a billion dollars.


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