Core Sphere with Modules Concept


Here is an idea I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks: wanted to throw it out here and get some feedback!

For a number of reasons, I like the idea of a spherical housing unit (volume enclosed and structural integrity). Prior to seasteading, I was sold on monolithic domes and a floating sphere seems to be the natural extension of this, offering similar advantages and perhaps being constructed in a similar manner.

That being said, I understand that a sphere is not necessarily ideal for all water conditions (I created another thread to discuss the stability of a simple sphere and don’t need to reproduce that discussion here: it can continue on that thread).

My idea was to have spherical housing units (ideally one per family in a few standard sizes but with customized interiors) which are easily mobile so as to take the greatest advantage of the power of markets and the “exit” option espoused by TSI. This could then be paired with modular add-ons (each tailored to specific conditions) to support the sphere. Below I have rendered a few simple mockups:

  1. Basic sphere ballasted to float at about half submerged.

  2. “Catamaran” like module which provides greater stability in shallow seas and allows for a shallower draft (useful in coastal areas where a 50’ diameter sphere with 25’ draft may bottom out). This would be able to float over the sphere, dock with it, and then empty water from the pontoons and lift the sphere out of the water to a significant extent (perhaps a draft of 10’).

  1. “Spar” like module which provides greater stability in high seas but requires an even larger draft. This is similar to spar modules but places the bulk of the sphere underwater and minimizes the waterplane area to minimize absorbed wave energy. Similar to the “Catamaran” it would dock with the sphere then take on water ballast to partially submerge.

  1. “City” like module which allows numerous spheres to dock (perhaps in multiple layers with a crane system to lift and place them) and provides infrastructure (transportation and utilities) as well as added stability (given the sheer size of the total structure). I have not attempted to illustrate this and there are endless possibilities for the geomery.

  2. “Boat” module which provides power and allows the spheres to be shuttled anywhere they wish to go. Alternatively, the “Spar” and “Catamaran” modules could include a drive system and also serve this purpose.

  3. “Blimp” module which provides lift (ideally after loosing the bulk of the ballast) and could transport the modules over land and place them on a foundation if they were to temporarily used as a land based dwelling. This one is perhaps far-fetched but it’s always fun to dream!

Let me know your thoughts on this idea!

(Larry G) #2

Catamaran unit would probably be better developed as a submersible rather than floating over the top. Allow the cup to be designed to passively accept the sphere rather than needing complex docking mechanisms. Submersible dry dock flotation systems very similar to this concept are already well-understood.

I can’t see any merit in the second concept. If you need to submerge it, just have ballast tanks in the sphere that you can flood. The ring looks like an engineering nightmare.


Good idea (hadn’t thought of that)! The dock could also have a few cutouts in the cup if you wanted access to the water for utilities or an underwater garage/dive hatch (obviously pressurized if the latter).

(Larry G) #4

The Catamaran might even have mooring lines to each corner from the sphere, and act as a tension leg anchor for the sphere in shallow enough water.


Interesting! This could also be applied to the Spar module in moderately deep water. Like I said, looking for additional ideas so this is great!

(Larry G) #6

I think usually TLP is based upon suction piles… If the catamaran was completely submersible and had the ability to be connected to pump lines, could even have suction piles involved.

(Matias Volco) #7

Consider vegetables are structurally fractal on the outside and animals are structurally fractal on the inside.

Both options are on the table but the efficacy of each depends on their scale and (economical) application.

  • On the breakwater threads we have discussed vegetable-like exterior fractal configuration, like imitating a mangrove, for gradual damping of surface (!) waves, i.e. even very small spheres can have a cumulative damping effect, etc (imagine combinations with your monolithic catamaran or a V shape)

  • An underwater bllimp or an ocean sphere imitates an animal, the structural complexity, the modules, are on the inside, each with different specific weight. It is hydrostatic pressure of the body that will determine its equilibrium, and thus its human perceived stabillity - consider what percentage of your own body is emerged when swimming or rather threading water comfortably.



I would presume the catamaran would be better for shallow waters. The TLP would fit with the spar type design in deeper water. No?


The Flip uses fluke anchors. I posted it in here, some time ago.

There are many different ways to do it. Omni-Max and others bury into the seafloor, as well.

(Larry G) #10

One consideration for tension mooring is that the structure must be vertically tall enough that wave troughs cannot cause the platform to drop low enough to lose tension. A shallow structure (catamaran) might not maintain tension during the trough portion of the wave cycle. So it’s not just shallow waters, but even in deep water, the catamaran probably wouldn’t be appropriate for TLP.

(system) #11

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