Special Mention
2007 Skyscraper Competition

Mathias Koester


Along with space tourism and adventurous tourist destinations, the Waterscraper offers an opportunity to experience the world’s most voluminous element – water and its amazing habitat. Built as a skyscraper upside-down, into the sea, the Waterscaper creates a habitable link towards the lower levels of the sea and features a unique hotel with a distinctive combination of recreation and scientific facilities. Half building and half vessel, the Waterscraper’s design and construction is purely driven by the analysis of aquatic forces. The circular setting provides an effective ring structure to withstand the water pressure. The floor plates diminish in size as the water pressure rises in the lower levels. The submerged main body is stabilized by the floating ring which connects via a dampened bridge structures to ensure the vertical position of the Waterscaper at all times.

The architecture follows the structural requirements and emphasizes this by allocating a distinctive use to the different design elements of the Waterscraper. The main cone reaches down 400 ft. and provides a mix of hotel rooms, laboratories, green rooms and a viewing platform at 25 floors below the sea level.

A glazed dome marks the top of the structure and allows light to penetrate deep into the inner atrium, which connects the public and private zones of the hotel facilities. While the hotel’s lobby, restaurant and café are situated in the levels above the sea, the conference facilities and hotel rooms are located below sea level with a view into the vivid underwater world.

The surrounding ring accommodates a series of apartments with direct access to the Waterscraper’s beaches. Eight beach platforms are hung between the bridging elements of the structure and are directed towards the centre to form a protected water area within the open sea. Further the ring encloses the Waterscraper’s marina and connects to the main plaza in front of the dome. The space below the plaza is used for the compounds own underwater port and diving center.

The Waterscraper is a floating building. It can drift within the open sea, move to a different location or it can anchor to achieve a fixed position. Currently a handful of motivated engineers have started to investigate the buoyancy relations and structural response to the enormous water pressure. If this proves feasible the Waterscraper may well become reality one day.

Waterscraper Board 1
Waterscraper Board 2

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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