Our latest Dezeen x MINI Living video explores a proposal for an environmentally friendly underwater city, which Japanese engineering firm Shimizu Corporation claims could be a reality by 2030.
Called Ocean Spiral, the design envisions a habitable settlement at surface level, which harnesses the resources of the ocean to allow it be entirely self-sufficient. The conceptual metropolis consists of two main elements.
The first is a 500-metre-diameter spherical city, within which a tower accommodates homes and workspaces for up to 5,000 people. The second is a spiral structure that connects this sphere with a base station on the ocean floor, 2.5 miles down.
This element allows is designed to provide the city with essential resources such as energy, fresh water and food. The spiral would generate renewable energy using ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), a process that takes advantage of the temperature difference between cooler deep seawater and warmer shallow seawater to drive a generator to produce electricity. Drinking water would be produced by a process called reverse osmosis membrane desalination, which utilises the high pressures naturally found at lower depths in the ocean to purify seawater.