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Underwater Architecture

In collaboration with architects, designers and government stakeholders, we consult, build and install underwater infrastructure for the tourism industry. 

A natural evolution from our integrated engineered reefs, underwater architecture projects such as the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre allows engineering to meet nature for thriving ocean communities. Artificial reefs and underwater architecture fuse art, science and engineering to provide structures for marine habitat to form. Most importantly, underwater architecture communicates the importance of our marine environment. By creating a sense of beauty and exploring the nature of perception we aim to inspire users to explore, experience and conserve our wonderful oceans.

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The Australian Underwater Discovery Centre at Busselton Jetty

Australia’s largest natural marine observatory in Busselton is coming in 2022 to Busselton Jetty Inc (BJI) for the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC).

The new $30 million marine observatory will feature the world’s largest ocean windows peering into the Indian Ocean, as well as a Marine Parks Discovery Centre, underwater dining, underwater art galleries and exhibition spaces.

A design unique to Geographe Bay

The AUDC is born out of a collaboration between Australian Engineering houses Subcon and Core Marine with London-based BACA Architects.  The new whale-shaped observatory will rise from the Indian Ocean at the end of the 1.8-kilometre, heritage-listed Busselton Jetty, which extends over the protected waters of Geographe Bay.

Busselton, a 2.5-hour drive south of Perth, is a popular tourist town famous for its jetty and annual whale migrations, which take place from September to December. Here the cold waters of the Southern Ocean meet warm waters from the Indian Ocean, creating a unique underwater environment.

The design, dubbed ‘Cetacean’ was inspired by the Humpback, Southern Right and Blue Whales which frequent Geographe Bay. The abstract likeness mimics these majestic marine mammals performing what’s commonly called a ‘Spy Hop’, a manoeuvre where the whale raises its head to eye level to gaze insightfully at those above the waterline.

Inside features a massive 5-metre-tall underwater window offering views of the unique ecosystem that has grown on the pier leading back to Busselton.

A living building

The Cetacean’s exterior is designed to create a thriving habitat for fish and corals, with a bio-receptive structure encouraging corals, sponges and algae to take hold. Barnacles will grow in the splash zone – just as they do on whales! There will be underwater sculptures too, which will provide additional habitat and protection for marine life.

To learn more about this project contact our team at info@subcon.com.

Cetacean

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