sub-biosphere 2 is a self-sustainable underwater habitat sub-biosphere 2 is a self-sustainable underwater habitat
oct 10, 2013

sub-biosphere 2 is a self-sustainable underwater habitat

sub-biosphere 2 is a self-sustainable underwater habitat
all visualizations by PAULEY




phil pauley has designed the ‘sub-biosphere 2’, a self-sustainable underwater habitat conceived for use by aquanauts, tourism and oceanographic life sciences and long term human, plant and animal habitation.


the concept is an arrangement of eight living biomes that span a site width of 340m (1105 ft), which at its highest point reaches 120m (394 ft) above water. the subaqueous community includes: a central support biosphere that monitors life systems within its own operation facility (D120m/390 ft, H60m/197ft); an observation pod (D20m/65ft); individual pods (D60m/195 ft, H30m/98ft) and boats, the largest measuring 20m (65 ft) in length and 20m/65 ft in height.


the underwater metropolis has been envisioned as a system that has the ability to sustain all of its life support networks for air, electricity, food, water, and other resources, by controlling the variant atmospheric pressures that occur at depth.




a central biosphere is surrounded by smaller pods to form the underwater community



rendering of the eight pods arranged around the central support biosphere



the self-sustainable habitat in its intended underwater context





‘sub-biosphere 2’ moves vertically above and below water



  • Where do all the pretty sailboats go when it submerges? Do they just float awyay?

    JT says:
  • Une vision réaliste du Monde de demain lorsque le niveau des mers aura monté….!

    RETSIN Marc says:
  • Oh boy, oh boy. I have a little sailboat, I can hardly keep the growth off. Transparent panels scratch so easily from the natural calcium growth. Heavy pressure washing every few days may help.

    Fred A. Saas, Architect says:
  • A beautiful concept, but wouldn’t it be sufficient to stay at sea level? The most interesting sea life lives in the first 10 meters, as any snorkler and diver can tell. Beyond that the light becomes dull.
    I see many static construction issues to solve, what about heavy sea? Condensation of humidity inside the glass?
    I’d leave a big hose for air exchange and emergency exit.
    But definetely an interesting hotel idea.

    Dirk16 says:
  • I suggest calculating the weight of ballast needed to submerge even one of those spheres. A 20 m “pod” has a volume of about 4190 m³. That displaces the same volume of seawater, which has a density of about 1020 kg/m³. That equates to a buoyant force of about 4190 m³ X 1020 kg/m³ X 2.,2 lb/kg = 9,400,000 lb. That’s 4700 tons. The anchoring system in the ocean bottom would have to be able to exert at least this force to securely anchor just this one sphere.

    Using lead as ballast, you would need 9,402,360 m³ ÷ 11,340 kg/m³ (density of lead) = 829 m³ of lead to make it neutrally buoyant. That’s 20% of the volume of the smallest of the spheres.

    And these calculation don’t even begin to take into account sea pressure, that increases 1 atmosphere (14.7 psi) every 33 feet. A 1 m² panel would have 22,785 pounds sea pressure acting on it at just 33 ft. Considering that a 20 m sphere’s top might be at 33 ft, its bottom is at about 65 ft, which is an additional atmosphere of pressure psi. So the asymmetrical loading on the sphere will be horrendous.

    There is a reason that such structures haven’t been built.

    SubVet says:
  • They reckon the entire population of the world can live in a under ocean city the size of the state of texas, but why ?
    Well they reckon living under the ocean will prepare us for living in outerspace & long journeys on starships to other planets & moons will be similar to living under the ocean.

    mantra says:

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