New Zealand engineering company building underwater restaurant in Maldives
An engineering company from New Zealand, Fitzroy Engineering, is building an underwater restaurant in the Maldives worth several million dollars, New Zealand website stuff.co.nz has reported.
Although the company did not specify which resort they were building the restaurant for, their contracts list names Champalars Holdings as the client. Champalars Holdings is currently developing Hurawalhi resort in Lhaviyani Atoll, which is set to open in mid-2016. The resort’s website describes the dining options as “on the beach, over the water, and under the water”.
Fitzroy Engineering, which is known for its work in the oil and gas industry, is moving away from the sector because of the downturn in the energy sector, New Zealand Business Development and Marketing Manager Mark Arnold told to website.
“We have become very busy in the fabrication and erection of structural steel for commercial buildings and projects such as this.”
“The engineering design work has been done by a company in Auckland and we’ve built it to their design with some of our own input. The weld quality is similar to what we would apply to oil and gas work as it’s underwater and has to withstand pressure.”
Project Manager Adrian van’t Hof said the restaurant would be 18 metres by 5 metres and 13 metres tall. The restaurant will sit beside a coral reef several metres under water and will seat up to 24 people.
“The top of the restaurant itself will be on the surface and looks like a hut. There is a boardwalk that goes across the water. Then, you go to this little hut, go down the stairs and end up in the restaurant under water.”
The sides down to dining table level, and the top, which covers the restaurant, are 120 millimetres thick acrylic, so will be see through, he said.
The bottom of the hull is 114mm thick steel. The 415 tonne structure will be loaded onto a specialist ship in February and taken directly to the Maldives where it will be lowered over the side to sit on eight steel piles, he said.
“It has legs that fold down. The divers will go down and locate it and then once it sits on the piles, we’ll fill them up with special concrete.”
Fitzroy Engineering will be involved with the installation, he said.
The restaurant will be open for business in May, 2016.