Santoña is a case-study for an underwater research center located on the Santoña peninsula on the northern coast of Spain. It consists of 2 parts: the upper station on the top of the hill and the main station at the foot of the mountain. The lower part maintains direct contact with an underwater habitat on the sea floor. The building has been designed in a snake-like form climbing along the steep rocky hill with long terraces on every floor overlooking the beautiful sea. For a smooth communication between the upper and main station an alpine cable car was provided. The lower station has a floating dock where ships can be moored. The whole complex is positioned intentionally in a remote location in order to ensure that a variety of sea life can be studied. Therefore the station needs to be completely self-sufficient and has a very complex program.
The upper building consists of a parking facility, janitors apartments and the cable-car engine-room.
The main station, starting from the bottom, houses decompression cabins, showers, changing rooms, warehouses for underwater equipment and a repair workshop. The next level is a working floor with labs, offices, meeting rooms, a library and an archive. On top of that there is a canteen with a kitchen. On the middle floor, a reception, a lobby and a cable-car station have been placed. The last three levels are reserved for hotel-like rooms for the researchers.