Inside luxurious survival bunker for billionaires

Konstantin Sheiko
February 13, 2018

In 1949 the Soviets successfully tested their first nuclear device. As the nuclear weapons delivery systems evolved while the weapon stocks multiplied, the concept of MAD, or mutually assured destruction came to dominate the political discourse on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The US original response to a nuclear Holocaust threat was weak. The Soviets heavily invested in the construction of concrete bunkers for their civilians and the military, while contemporary US posters from the 1950’s advice American schoolchildren to duck and hide under the school desks.      

Soon, there was a rush among ordinary Americans that embarked on building their own make-shift, home-based nuclear shelters. Although far from being prefect, these structures had spurred private capital in action, and soon there were various professionally constructed bomb shelters on offer, and a brand new market had emerged. The Cold War might be over, but the threat of mass extinction has remained. There are still nuclear capable rogue states like North Korea out there, and more importantly, the risk of environmental catastrophes is more pronounced than ever. Consequently, the market for bomb shelters has evolved to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, accommodating the ever growing demands of the rich and powerful that plan too survive any civilisational debacle, whether it will be a nuclear exchange, an asteroid impacting the Earth, or the global flood.    

Currently, there are hundreds of luxury doomsday bunkers scattered worldwide (with their bulk located in the US and Europe). While some of them belong to national governments, such as the Rocky Mountains US Presidential bunker, other facilities are being run by private operators. Some do it for personal security reasons, buying old inter-continental ballistic silos and equipping them with the latest high-tech survivalist technologies, others do it for profit. Vivos, also known as The Vivos Group, is one of many top-tech companies that specialises in designing, and then constructing various types of survivalist bunkers for the rich. It is a California-based company founded by Robert Vicino that proposes to build hardened underground shelters designed to withstand future disasters and life-extinction catastrophes.    

Vivos founder and CEO Robert Vicino announced Vivos ‘Europa One’, which is by an invitation only, five star, underground survival complex, similar to an underground cruise ship for the elite. Each family will be provided a private 2,500 square foot of floor area, capable of two story improvements for a total of 5,000 square feet of private living quarters. With fit and finish comparable to a mega-yacht, each member family will hire their own architect and contractor to build out their living quarters to the custom standard they desire.   

The expansive shelter is located in Germany, and is one of the most fortified and massive underground survival shelters on Earth. Originally built by the Soviets during the Cold War, this shelter was a fortress for military equipment and munitions. After the German re-unification, the government inherited this relic and intended to use it for the same purpose of weapons storage. However, due to a law prohibiting the storage of ammunition near a major highway, the German Government soon realised they could not continue with their plans and decided to auction this 76 acre complex.    

A wealthy investor purchased the entire property, along with all of its improvements, both above and below ground. Vicino says, “We are proud to bring this epic project forward in these increasingly dangerous times.” The hardened facility is capable of withstanding a substantial close range nuclear blast, a direct airplane crash, biological and chemical agents, shock waves, earthquakes, tsunami, electro-magnetic pulses, and virtually any armed attack.   

The complex includes over 21,108 square meters (227,904 square feet) of secured, blast proof living areas. An additional 4,079 square meters (43,906 square feet) belong to above-ground office and warehouse buildings, including a train servicing depot. The typical chamber area is 5 meters wide (16.40 feet), by 6 meters tall (19.68 feet) and 85 meters (278.87 feet) long. Collectively there are over 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) of continuous tunnel chambers (equivalent to 71 Boeing 747’s fuselages stretched end to end). 

All shelter areas are located behind three separate nuclear blast and radiation proof vehicle entrances, and a number of other passages for access by people only. Each of the three main tunnel entrances includes an outer security door system, followed by a 40 ton hydraulic truck access door with hardened steel rods which expand into the surrounding encasement, and a second set of massive steel doors providing an airtight seal shut, protecting against chemical, biological and gas intrusion.    

The underground main traffic corridors are large enough to allow mechanical transportation of heavy equipment to almost any point within the complex. The structural rock provides for an extremely high load carrying capacity of the mountain above, as well as superior shock wave absorption, high thermal retention, stable temperature at an average 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity control.   

All underground rooms are serviced by two fully customised climate and ventilation systems. The self-contained water and power generation system with three diesel generators, including redundant back-up systems, assures autonomous operation of the underground shelter without support from the outside world. This vast limestone mountain contains a water treatment plant with deep water wells, a power plant, a hospital area, restaurant areas, air filtration and cooling systems, as well as a series of massive blast doors which a tank could drive over to enter.   

The above-ground facilities are equally as impressive, including several office buildings, barracks that can accommodate a hundred, a power plant, fuel storage, railroad spurs complete with a train depot for repairs, guard buildings, and warehouses, all within an impenetrable perimeter wall, complete with military concertina coils. Once the gates are locked, the only way in or out of the property is by helicopter.   

All common areas will be improved and outfitted by Vivos, including the roadways, restaurants, bakery, brewery pub, wine cellar, community meeting rooms, prayer rooms and chapels, nursery play rooms, classrooms, training rooms, computer areas, a television and radio station, the communications centre, security and detention centre, vaults for valuables, security equipment and devices, water purification facility, deep water wells, interior water and fuel storage tanks, power plant, air handling and (NBC) nuclear, biological and chemical filtration systems, battery backup power storage, mechanical repair shop, decontamination showers, private offices, pet kennels, a hair salon, theatres, the hydroponic gardens, a fully equipped hospital, storage rooms and warehouse areas, all food and medical supplies, a non-hybrid seed bank and the DNA storage bank.   

Vivos will also provide the electric transportation vehicles and trams, armoured security vehicles, helicopters, protective suits and apparatus for outdoor chemical, biological and radiation exposure, above-ground offices and warehouses, a security centre, the rail spur and maintenance station, the above-ground power plant, above-ground gardens and open space, farming, fishing and hunting equipment, boats and rafts. Vivos has planned doomsday retreats in the past including private bunkers for residences, but it is only now that this new location has come to fruition offering up a unique potential for those who truly want the ultimate in personal safety for their families.