Underwater City of the Future


Use of large-sized cylindrical structures for land reclamation and creating space underwater

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have designed a new and sustainable approach for creation of space using precast, super-scale cylindrical structure. This novel approach for space utilisation integrates reclamation, superstructure and underground construction into one. 

This cylindrical structure will be used like caverns to form underwater space for infrastructure or other developments. Above this cylindrical structure, land can also be reclaimed without using a large amount of material to fill the sea. 

However, the design and construction of such super-scale cylindrical structures pose challenges. The researchers have proposed a series of innovative methods, new materials and new construction technologies to make this novel concept feasible and cost-effective. These include:

  • New construction materials and innovative cylindrical structural design: use of green concrete and new reinforcement
  • Innovative soil treatment and foundation method: new foundation and installation methods for underwater structures 
  • Hydrodynamic study and harvest of energy: new methods to address issues of vortex shedding, wave trapping and movement of sand waves relevant to the founding of extra-large structures on the seabed, and methods to harness wave energy 


Three new methods for installation of the cylindrical structures have been developed. 

Together with local agencies and companies, the team is exploring the construction and installation of a demonstration structure in the sea. This research is carried out by a team from NTU including A/Prof Tan Soon Keat, A/Prof Chu Jian, A/Prof Susanto Teng, A/Prof Robert Tiong and Dr Sulfikar Amir. It received funding from NRF’s Competitive Research Programme grant scheme. 


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