Yves Behar-designed Underwater Research Station’s architecture is inspired by coral reefs

Designed to spearhead the movement of studying our oceans for newer, more effective ways to save our planet’s fragile ecosystems (and to also help better understand and predict erratic behavior of our oceans and the tide/weather patterns associated with it), the PROTEUS™ is the marine equivalent of the International Space Station. The project was conceived by renowned ocean explorer and conservationist Fabien Cousteau and the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center (FCOLC); Yves Behar and fuseproject created the initial concept design for the underwater research station.

“At 4,000 square feet, PROTEUS™ will be three or four times the size of any previously built sub-marine habitats, accommodating up to twelve people at once”, says Yves Behar. The Proteus, designed to carry out a variety of research missions, is permanently anchored to the ocean floor, with individual pods sticking out of the main facility like the tentacles of a coral polyp or an anemone. These modular pods accommodate a variety of uses such as state-of-the-art laboratories, sleeping quarters, bathrooms, medical bays, life support systems, and storage. These pods can be easily attached or detached based on their need. The largest pod (which stays permanently affixed to the main structure) houses a moon pool, allowing submersible vessels to enter the Proteus.

Built to be a large, permanent research facility, the Proteus will see scientists, technicians, and researchers spend weeks (or even months) in it at a time, conducting researches targeted towards medicinal discoveries, food sustainability, and the impacts of climate change. The architecture of the facility accommodates a variety of common spaces including a living room, kitchen, dining, and work areas to help occupants spend their time comfortably. The individual pods and the main structure are even equipped with enough windows to allow sunlight to illuminate the interiors during the day too, while an underwater greenhouse will also allow occupants to grow their own food.

Designer: Yves Behar (fuseproject) for Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center