A project of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center (FCOLC), PROTEUS™ is conceived as the underwater version of the International Space Station; it will be a platform for global collaboration amongst the world’s leading researchers, academics, government agencies, and corporations to advance science to benefit the future of the planet. The underwater research station will advance scientific and oceanic research by making it livable for scientists to work for long periods of time, carrying out a variety of research missions.


At 4,000 square feet, PROTEUS™ will be three or four times the size of any previously built submarine habitats, accommodating up to twelve people at once. Attached to the ocean floor by legs designed to adapt to the variable terrain, the design is based on the concept of a spiral. A series of modular pods are attached to the main body and will accommodate a variety of uses such as laboratories, sleeping quarters, bathrooms, medical bays, life support systems, and storage. The largest pod contains a moon pool allowing submersibles to dock. These pods can be attached or detached to adapt to the specific needs of the users over time.

The two levels of PROTEUS™ are connected by a spiral ramp to encourage physical activity and movement for the inhabitants. The ramp connects the main spaces within PROTEUS™ which are designed to feel inviting and comfortable, an approach which is a departure from most facilities of this nature which typically forego comfort and a sense of home in favor of cold utility. These common spaces include a living room, kitchen, dining, and work areas. PROTEUS™ will also have the first underwater greenhouse so residents can grow fresh plant food in order to solve the challenge of not being able to cook with open flames.

Two of the other biggest challenges to staying underwater for longer spans of time is the social isolation and lack of natural light. PROTEUS™'s central spaces will provide physical comfort, social connection and professional collaboration. Additionally, the station will be designed to gather as much light as possible from windows, on the top, and around the sides of the structure.



  • Fast Company World Changing Ideas

    • Finalist - Nature Category, 2022
  • The Index Award

    • Finalist - Community, 2021
  • Fast Company Innovation by Design

    • Honorable Mention - Spaces and Places, 2021
  • Core 77 Awards

    • Runner Up - Speculative Design, 2021

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