Daniel Libeskind's plan for an underwater hotel in Eilat, Israel. Daniel Libeskind's plan for an underwater hotel in Eilat, Israel. American architect Daniel Libeskind wants to build an underwater hotel in Eilat, Israel. (Photo: Wikipedia/Studio Libeskind)

This architect wants to build an underwater hotel in the Red Sea

See the first illustrations of Daniel Libeskind's unconventional plan to transform a southern Israel resort town.

Sometime in the late 1990s, an underwater restaurant, bar and observatory called the Red Sea Star opened off the coast of Eilat, a tourist-driven beach town in southern Israel. At the time, it was billed as a unique attraction with luxurious decor and an exotic seafood menu.

Though it's still (strangely) got a functioning website, the restaurant itself closed in 2012. A new, bigger observatory and aquarium opened soon after, though, and continues to attract throngs of tourists to the sunny community that's known as one of Israel's must-see destinations.

Eilat The Marine Park Underwater Observatory in Eilat, Israel, attracts thousands of visitors per year. (Photo: Rostislav Glinsky/Shutterstock)

Now, an architect has an unconventional idea for rejuvenating the site and taking advantage of the now-defunct restaurant space. He wants to turn it into a hotel – all underwater, adjacent to the observatory.

Plans are still in the early stages, and the design (see photos below) does look a bit other-worldly. But Daniel Libeskind's idea actually isn't so far-fetched. There are already underwater hotels in Singapore, Dubai, the Maldives and Sweden. Putting the hotel in Eilat would seem to make sense, with the observatory nearby.

Daniel Libeskind's plan for an underwater hotel in Eilat, Israel. The hotel would include guest rooms that appear to be floating from curved wooden walkways. (Illustration: Studio Libeskind)

Daniel Libeskind's plan for an underwater hotel in Eilat, Israel. An aerial view of the proposed hotel. (Photo: Studio Libeskind)

Daniel Libeskind's plan for an underwater hotel in Eilat, Israel. Libeskind's capsule-like design makes the tops of the guest rooms look like they're floating above the surface. (Photo: Studio Libeskind)

The plan will surely undergo some deep scrutiny before it can break ground. This is nothing new for Libeskind; the American architect is known for pushing the boundaries of building design in many ways and has met adversity in previous projects. He was the original architect in charge of the master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. He was tapped for a large-scale Jerusalem project called the Pyramid Tower, but those plans halted when developers ran into zoning issues.

In Eilat specifically, there's the issue of the coral reef to consider when building underwater. Some critics think the reef would be destroyed, along with its varied sea life, in the wake of construction and tourism; supporters say they'll make sure the reef is preserved regardless of what is built there.

An anemonefish peeks out of his home in an anemone in Eilat's coral reef. An anemonefish peeks out of his home in an anemone in Eilat's coral reef. (Photo: Shahar Shabtai / Shutterstock)

Either way, the ambitious design is squarely in line with Libeskind's philosophy of incorporating emotion into architecture. Waking up to a view of a sparkling coral reef from your hotel window would certainly accomplish that.

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