This is an article by our guest Editor Helen Duval
Future living will definitely be very different a hundred years from now, and we could well be living in underwater cities and even 3D-printed homes.
Studies that have looked at the way things could develop for us all show that buildings and interiors have the potential to evolve into exceptionally flexible spaces.
Rooms could well be created to alter their size and shape depending on the amount of occupants at any one time. Already, we are moving towards interlinking smart technology into our everyday lives with biometrics controlling lighting, security and access. This type of embedded technology will allow homes to alter and shift in order to cater for changes in living circumstances, with downsizing taking on a whole new meaning.
Underwater living is bound to be developed as our demands on the planet and the need for more land to live on will become a priority, with building land becoming a premium, particularly in cities which even currently, is very limited.
Floating communities are already being designed to cater for the earth’s growing population and this will soon allow communities the option of moving with the tides to enjoy the best climates.
The fascination with living under the sea is not a new concept however, with underwater neighbour-hoods and floating communities in the eyes of the architects and their future visions.
This concept first came to life via architect Ahmed Saleem with the opening of the world’s first underwater restaurant, Ithaa, in 2005 at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort. Here diners can eat the best food while enjoying sting rays, sharks, turtles and many other forms of aquatic life all swimming past in full view.
When it originally opened, Ithaa was one of the very first underwater restaurants to be made entirely of glass. Essentially the restaurant is a minute transparent room that has seating capacity for just 14 diners at any one time. The first of its kind, it offers a magical dining experience and equally stunning views through glass.
Leap forward 13 years and the dream of building an underwater bedroom at the resort in The Maldives, finally came to fruition for Ahmed Saleem in the form of The Muraka.
The all glass hotel room can be found 16.5 feet under the sea at the Rangali Island resort and is constructed of steel, concrete and acrylic, which has been designed to have minimum impact on the local ecosystem and surrounding coral reefs.
The 600 ton structure was built in Singapore then was transported by ship to the Maldives before being submerged into the Indian Ocean. Held in place by 10 concrete piles, reassuringly perhaps as the underwater aquarium it has been stated, cannot be moved by extreme weather conditions or rough seas.
The stunning ocean view has created a truly unique ‘hotel’ experience with fish happily swimming around the lower bedroom deck that is connected to the upper level with an elevator as well as a spiral staircase. The fully equipped bathroom also has a glass walled window into the aquatic world.
Naturally, for such an individual and luxurious holiday experience, exclusivity is the watchword. This underwater gateway to a whole new aquatic holiday can be booked for approximately $50,000 per night…but you do get your own private jetty, speedboat, butler and chef to cater to your every need, while the fish watch on in wonder! As a building material, what amazing capacity glass has to offer future architectural design.