Aquarium Rendering

Diatom Aquatecture:
Resiliency Re-Imagined

April 20, 2016 [Woodbury, NY] ∼

Our Landscape Architecture and Architecture teams participated in an international competition sponsored by arch out loud,that called for the design of an aquarium as an easily accessible public space from each of NYC's five boroughs. Our proposed building design and program was based around the Diatom - a single celled algae found in every water body throughout the world. Used to measure environmental conditions, they have a complex, lightweight geometric shell with elaborate patterns of valves allowing for a symbiotic relationship with their environment. The building was designed with a curvilinear façade and morphology of curtain walls to create a shelled structure that displays its iconic architecture onto the public realm.

The integrated stormwater and drainage system is designed and dedicated to handle flood surges. The system functions as a network and includes greenroofs, storm collection drains, permeable paving, vegetated bioswales and retention/detention basins through the site. During high water events the site is designed to respond to the inundation by allowing water to enter the site circulating through subterranean retention basins and stormwater holding cells in the plaza.

Through the ability to adapt, our Diatom-inspired Aquarium strengthens itself, resilient to storm events and challenges how we see the built environment. Our strategy was to include all that makes for a sustainable development, rather than focusing on one goal. A sustainable, resilient site is a well-balanced strategy where all elements are designed together to perform optimally.