After success with two other world-first underwater projects in the Maldives, we were approached to work on another world first for the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort. The project, Muraka, was a US$15 million two-story hotel villa, the lower part of which would sit around 5m below the surface of the Indian Ocean.
Muraka features a gym, a bar, an infinity pool, butler’s and security quarters, an ocean-facing bathtub and — most impressively — an underwater bedroom floor with unparalleled views of the ocean. Connected to the upper level by a lift with a surrounding spiral staircase, the undersea suite features a king-size bedroom with 180 degree views of the coral reef through to the deep ocean, a lounge also with a panoramic view of the surrounding coral reef and a bathroom with fully glazed outlook onto the reef. Conrad relied on Jacksons’ expertise and prior experience in this area to make the experience comfortable and safe for their guests.
We were charged with designing the project’s mechanical services, working on the air-con, ventilation, hydraulics, electrical and lighting works. For 18 months, Lance Jimmeson from Jacksons flew back and forth between New Zealand and the Maldives, creating designs that made sure the underwater room had good ventilation, was safe to occupy and remained at an acceptable temperature – not easy when it is in 28-30°C water!
Lance wasn’t the only Kiwi working on the underwater bedroom: the facility’s owner and project well-known Maldivian architect Ahmed Saleem trained in New Zealand and regularly used top Kiwi professionals, including overall designer Mike Murphy, Origin Fire for fire engineering, Aircool Refrigeration for mechanical installation, Plumbuilt for hydraulics and Direct Control for electrical and controls work. The chillers were also purpose built for the project by specialists CIR in Auckland.
The project was completed in late 2018. You can see the bedroom HERE and video below.