By Deane Barker on July 17, 2005

HYDROPOLIS: Yet another undersea hotel. [sigh] They’re getting so commonplace these days.

Hydropolis is structured in three elements: the land station, the connecting tunnel, and the submarine complex. The land station is the reception and welcome centre for the hotel’s guests. The connecting tunnel is the lifeline of the complex and not only provides access for guests, but also enables provisioning of the hotel with all the necessary goods. And finally, the submarine complex is the hotel itself with its wide range of unique additional facilities.

There’s another great article about Hydropolis here. It’s wonderfully heavy on technical details.

The project team will borrow construction technologies employed in submarines and offshore oil and gas installations, Hauser said. Floating caissons, he explained, will be towed to the site, which is some 990 feet (300 meters) off the coast of Jumeirah, an upscale area in west Dubai. The caissons will allow construction in a dry environment.

In addition, the caissons’ watertight cavities, explained Hauser, will “provide the required space for piping and tubing, decentralized air-conditioning systems, storage and preparation rooms, restaurants, and staff rooms. As the building gradually increases in height and weight during the construction process, it will be gradually lowered until it reaches its final position and will then be firmly anchored.”

I can’t wait for the Modern Marvels episode. If the word “caisson” is mentioned at all in describing the construction of something, there’s usually a Modern Marvels episode. (But what’s a caisson, you ask?

a retaining, watertight structure used, for example, to work on the foundations of a bridge pier, for the construction of a concrete dam, or for the repair of ships. These are constructed so that the water can be pumped out so the working environment is dry.

Wikipedia rules.)

I found Hydropolis via this article about Dubai (which I found via Boing Boing). The article is very much worth reading if you’re interested in a country that makes Las Vegas look like a double-wide trailer with a ‘83 Camaro up on blocks in the front yard.

The article starts by profiling all of the amazing sites and sounds in the emirate (as we’ve done before), but then explains how it all happens, which isn’t so glamorous:

Dubai lifestyles are attended by vast numbers of Filipina, Sri Lankan, and Indian maids, while the building boom is carried on the shoulders of an army of poorly paid Pakistanis and Indians working twelve-hour shifts, six and half days a week, in the blast-furnace desert heat.

Dubai, like its neighbors, flouts ILO labor regulations and refuses to adopt the international Migrant Workers Convention. Human Rights Watch in 2003 accused the Emirates of building prosperity on “forced labor.”

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  1. I was just screwing around on Technorati right after reading this article so I decided to try the search engine out. I typed in “Hydropolis” without quotes to see the results and this gadgetopia listing was #1 and said Posted 1 hour ago. Pretty amazing actually. No relevance tests here or anything, just wanted to see how well it pulled something I knew was just posted today.

    For another search though Technorati could not pull the results as it was too busy.

    Anyway, at least 196 Gadgetopia listings on technorati.

  2. what an excellent hotel architecture!!!

    I have no words to say as the project was so fascinating.

    I hope I could spend a night at the first ‘sea resort’ as soon as possible.



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