Brief

Baca Architects has been hired to lead the design of the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre. The whale-like building will be situated 2 km out at sea and partially submerged, offering visitors a view of life below the waves.

 

Insight

Baca Architects has been hired by marine contractor Subcon to lead the design of the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC). Reached by jetty, the building will be situated 2 km (1.2 miles) out from the shoreline and will be partially submerged under the water, offering visitors a fantastic view of life around the sea bed.

Bringing to mind Snøhetta’s Under – indeed, engineering duties are being handled by the same team behind that ambitious underwater restaurant, CoreMarine Engineering – the AUDC will be located at the end of the existing Busselton Jetty, which is south of Perth, Western Australia.

The project is actually replacing a similar underwater observatory on the site that’s too small to meet demand. The aim is that once complete, it will be the world’s largest natural marine observatory.

Its overall form is inspired by a whale, with its “head” rising out of the water. The interior will measure 900 sq m (roughly 9,680 sq ft) and feature lots of glazing offering visitors views of the sea life. There will also be art on display inside, an underwater restaurant, and some kind of exhibition educating people about ocean climate change, as well as some underwater sculptures out on the sea bed.

 

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