2012 Skyscraper Competition
Hui Chen, Luying Guo
China, United States
Constructing a building that floats in the ocean has inherent benefits, the main boon being buoyancy. Locating a structure in the sea allows the possibility for massive complexes to be constructed without the restraints of gravity, opening possibilities for great architectural experimentation.
Enter “Oceanscraper,” a design for a cone-shaped underwater city complex. The Oceanscraper has a large “bowl” in the center to allow daylight to reach the depths; surrounding the bowl is a ring of living space. Submarines dock into the living space, and residents remain inside, creating a community of submarine apartments. This mobility affords freedom for residents and also allows each city complex to shift rapidly, if need be. Submarines are free to navigate both within the bowl and outside of the complex, and can dock collectively in themed groups, such as submarines that are performing research, or those that are hosting tourist groups, etc.
Each complex has two Borei nuclear submarines stationed at the bottom; one is positioned to face the sky, the other to face the sea floor. Borei submarines are the fourth-class nuclear subs used by the Russian Navy, but their life spans will only carry them through to the middle of the 21st century. After they are decommissioned, they must sit on the ocean floor with radioactive waste material inside, posing great potential threats to sea life. Instead of letting them rot, The Oceanscraper will commission these subs back into use, using them as nuclear power stations. Power lines from the submarines will connect directly to the city complexes to bring them energy. The power will be generated from the 16 intercontinental missile launch silos located inside each Borei submarine.