Il futuro del tennis? Sott’acqua, in uno stadio sottomarino a Dubai

The future of tennis? Under water, in a submarine stadium in Dubai

The development of the first world project for the construction of an underwater stadium in Dubai is underway

MILAN - Do you love tennis? From today, challenging your opponent might take on another flavour, more precisely another living space context. Indeed, Krzysztof Kotala's project seems to have convinced even the investors; a doctor in architecture at the Krakow Polytechnic, in April 2015 Kotala presented to the world the project for an underwater tennis stadium. The project is planned to be created off the coast of Dubai, and in the last months it has made giant steps towards being approved.

Kotala's dream

Krzysztof Kotala, who owns the 8 + 8 Concept Studio in Warsaw, conceived his idea last April.  The Underwater Dubai Tennis Centre ended up making the news across the world after the first drafts of its structure were revealed. Just in these days, the man behind the underwater stadium idea has confirmed that there might be some American businessmen that are ready to invest in the project and that it just needs to be refined: "This process will require only a few months - admitted Kotala-, it will be something original. It must become a traditional place for tennis and Dubai is the perfect place to create this idea". Kotala's project includes seven arenas, with a glass cupola in carbon-glass above the court and would be located within a coral reef off the coast of Dubai, close to the famous Burj al Arab.

Original idea, but tricky project

Notwithstanding Kotala's enthusiasm, Sarah Fray, engineering and technical services director at London's Institution of Structural Engineers, said that underwater projects are always difficult to carry out due to the construction constraints of any underwater structure: "Building anything underwater is extremely challenging", said Fray, "It is of paramount importance to understand how to face any unexpected events for a construction that lies under water.  For example, I am thinking about the small earthquakes that affect the region". According to Fray, developers would have two construction options: push water ahead and then flood the hypothetical construction site, or build the structure on the ground, take it to the see, make it sink, and then anchor it to the seabed.

by Alessandro Michielli