for this futuristic living proposal, french architect mathieu collos takes us off dry land and onto water. ‘SEA STEM’ is an ambitious concept that imagines a completely self-sustaining habitat with minimal environmental impact, which would initially be stationed 7.5 miles from palavas port in the south of france. 

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all images courtesy of mathieu collos



mathieu collos has developed this project in response to rising sea levels and receding coastlines. the architect is looking in particular at the region of occitanie and the french seaside city of montpellier. with the dense coastal population of southern france, collos proposes that instead of building dikes and seawalls, we should be looking at moving towards the sea too.

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visitors take part in various activities such as kitesurfing and foiling, which help to collect environmental data via onboard sensors



SEA STEM is conceived to be 100% autonomous on energy by harnessing solar, wind and wave power; 100% autonomous on food production through permaculture and aquaculture; 100% autonomous on water management by rainwater harvesting and desalination; and 100% autonomous on waste management thanks to foodwaste reuse. in addition, the habitat proposes to help regenerate sealife by means of an artificial reef. 

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30m above sea level, the dome hosts a protected permaculture garden. as a visitor, you will be engaged in gardening activities to contribute towards local food production.



the project is also conceived to be 100% funded through a mixed-use program of eco-tourism and scientific research. in 50 meter-deep water, SEA STEM’s artificial reef provides a place for marine life to grow safely and a platform for scientific research. the reef also serves as a way for visitors to discover and learn about sealife.

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away from light pollution, the dome is the perfect place to gaze at the stars.



when staying at SEA STEM, visitors will take part in activities such as kitesurfing and foiling to help collect environmental data via onboard sensors. diving will help maintain the artificial reef structure and thinktanks and workshops will contribute towards developing future ideas for the evolution of SEA STEM. with this project, mathieu collos not only wants to rethink the very nature of our habitat, but he also wants to imagine new ways of living together. 

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an onboard restaurant cooks meals exclusively from local permaculture crops and aquaculture. any food waste is then used for biomass energy production and ground fertilizer.

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the reef from the sea bed level (-50m). marine life searches for protection in order to grow safely and develop. with its variable geometry, the artificial reef provides safe habitats for local species.

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rainwater harvested in the dome irrigates the permaculture garden and is stocked in reservoirs beneath



project info:


project name: SEA STEM
architect: mathieu collos


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom