Anihta – the vision of the first marine archeology museum underwater, where alcoholics are sent to find their inner power, that could restore them to sanity. Located 80km off the seacoast of Nessebar, in the depths of the Black Sea and with the help of new and existing technologies, this floating structure is going to accommodate the visitors to the first marine archaeology museum, and at the same time be a home for recovering alcoholics.
Anihta means deep in the sea, it has been used as a term for years from the fisherman in the Old Town of Nessebar. This is where the story starts. A small town, on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria with more than 3000 years of history, the only Bulgarian town that has been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been a tourist destination for years, but due to the closeness of the summer resort – Sunny Beach, it has been losing its glory.
Sunny Beach is a Bulgarian summer resort that has been built in 1958 as an ambition to be a greenery offering nature-based resort, for family and social tourism. Unfortunately, it has been turned into a cheap destination for “alcohol tourism”.
This is where the theses base. A mixture of problems, that need a complex solution. How can you attract the tourist and at the same time preserve the environment. This is where the idea for the location of Anihta comes from. In 2017 a team of marine archaeologist have made one of the biggest discoveries, a ship, surviving intact, at the bottom of the Black Sea. Protected by the anoxic waters at the seafloor, the ship has been sitting undisturbed since 400 B.C. A Greek vessel that looks like something the mythical hero Odysseus could have sailed. The symbolism that this discovery caries is a journey – the journey that Odysseus makes looking for his way back home to Ithaca. This is where the connection to the alcoholics is. Step 12 of the recovery program of Alcoholic Anonymous stats that one needs to “came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Like Odysseus, at the end of his journey, concludes that he is just a man in this world, nothing without the Gods, and alcoholic is going to be send to the depths of the sea. A location, that is going to be the provocative situation, that will help the addict find his inner power. Once you hit the bottom, you need to fight back to survive.
The structure is going to be a mixture of institution. It will bring together a departure/arrival hub for submarines, a museum with research facilities, accommodations for visitors and at the same time will cover all the needs of an alcoholic. Communication dome at 200m depth, where all command and medical centers are located. This is where the oxygen and anoxic water meet. The symbol of life and death - public and private. The location of those facilities is chosen considering the travel of low frequency waves, communication, and emergencies. Accommodations, medical center, and treaty rooms will be a part of a system that is going to help the addicts be a part of the society again. Inspired by The Flying Dutchman, the alcoholics are going to be a part of the crew. At the same time , the visitors of the museum are going to learn the history of the Black Sea, see the location of more than 60 shipwrecks that have been discovered in the area and make a journey to the bottom of the sea. With the help of a diving bell, they will be able to take a close look of the power that drives the building – the world’s oldest shipwreck.
All of this Is going to be possible with the use of technology. The study of submarines and underwater architecture are the ones that could turn this vision into a design.