Space Invader: The Aquadom
April 13, 2012
More and more architects are talking about “super-furnitures” and “micro-structures”–hip nomenclature for large, oversized spatial objects whose compact dimensions and surprising depth constitute portable rooms that can be inserted into any context. Given their inherent mutability, these rooms can be shifted at will with little regard to the spatial dissonance (or opportunity) they may provoke (or inspire). The same cannot be said about the Aquadom, a colossal 25-meter aquarium situated in the atrium of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin.
The concept (if you can call it that) behind the aquarium appears similar to that of super-furnitures, in that it was designed to accommodate, if not galvanize perceptive shifts in the observant’s spatial memory. In the case of the Aquadom, the structure inhabits two opposing premises, that of scaling up a domestic glass tank populated with goldfish and tiny reef-like mounds and, conversely, of harnessing the ocean and perversely introducing it into a man-made environment. Of course, the aquarium–the world’s largest–cannot be moved or adjusted so as to drastically vary experiences over time, but that is not to say that it cannot beget variation. Light passes through the water in different intensities throughout the day; schools of fish dart past to avoid a scuba diver; and the glass elevator at the tank’s core continuously ferries guests to and from the viewing platform overlooking the oceanic spectacle. That, or it’s just an easy way to lure tourists and boost revenues. Happy Friday!