The Science Explorer Logo

Jacques Rougerie

Floating, Futuristic Research Lab Will House 7,000 Scientists

It will also be 100 percent self-sustainable and designed to withstand the wrath of Poseidon, no matter how turbulent the seastorm.

| 2 min read

It will also be 100 percent self-sustainable and designed to withstand the wrath of Poseidon, no matter how turbulent the seastorm.

The City of Mériens — a giant, floating research lab shaped like a Manta ray — is the brainchild of French designer Jacques Rougerie, and it will house up to 7,000 scientists and students from across the globe. Rougerie chose the Manta ray for inspiration since the design would offer stability even in the most turbulent storms and harsh weather conditions.

The floating “city” would offer professional researchers and students the opportunity to explore the ocean at a new level of intensity since they would be constantly immersed in their field of study. Rougerie says several layers of Mériens would feature lecture halls, laboratories, classrooms, living quarters, and a number of recreational rooms and sport zones.

SEE ALSO: Will Floating Farms be the Future of Food?

In an interview with, Rougerie said, “City of Mériens would revolutionize the world of underwater studies due to the fact that people would have a permanent contact with the ocean, as well as a direct access to the underwater world, as part of the city is completely underwater.” Apparently, the floating city will be large enough to harbor an interior lagoon that could accommodate research vessels under 295 feet long.

Perhaps the most impressive feature is that Mériens is designed to be 100 percent self-sustainable, using renewable marine energy and producing zero waste. The Manta ray’s wings would feature hydroponic greenhouses where residents could grow all the fruits and vegetables they need right on board. Both sides of the interior lagoon would also host aquaculture breeding farms so scientists could cultivate and study a number of marine species.

“Regarding the world of water vessel design, the City of Mériens will hopefully inspire designs that place the man in complete harmony with the sea,” said Rougerie.

Rougerie hopes that the City of Mériens might glide through the vast blues by 2050, but the idea is still in the conceptual stage right now. However, another one of Rougerie’s remarkable ideas for a sea vessel is already under construction — the revolutionary SeaOrbiter.

As TechInsider reports in their video, the ocean exploration vessel will resemble a high-tech research spaceship for the seas. Six of the SeaOrbiter’s 12 floors will be submerged below sea level, and the extraordinary research barge will cost a cool $50 million to assemble. The first SeaOrbiter is expected to be functional by 2016, so Rougerie’s innovative ideas are truly coming to life.

Sea exploration and marine life research will undoubtedly transform in the years to come. The innovative, self-sustainable designs serve as an exciting reminder that — not only is technology capable of creating phenomenal research facilities — but there is so much left to discover about the mysterious deep blues.

Check out the video on the SeaOrbiter design:

Related Content