Posted by Dabney B. on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Aquariums: are they artificial or natural? That’s kind of a trick question. I don’t think it’d be right to think of aquariums as an either-or thing. They’re kind of in the middle, fusing artificial precision and efficiency with natural ecosystems.
The Villa Amanzi in Phuket, Thailand takes a similar approach. Designed by Original Vision, this elegant home combines architectural convenience with natural beauty. Rather than isolating the inhabitants from the surrounding elements, Villa Amanzi invites the residents to experience the surrounding landscape.
Enormous, floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of the nearby forest and coast. Natural ventilation systems use breezes and water-cooled air to keep the living space cozy, rather than relying on energy-sucking air conditioners. It also features a sunlight-bathed vegetated interior courtyard that unites green plant life with concrete and steel.
I can’t help but feel inspired by this home. As you may have noticed, one of my favorite things about aquariums is how they blur the distinction between the natural and the artificial. Drawing from Villa Amanzi, you could easily incorporate elements from the surrounding landscape into your home aquarium.
For example, let’s say that you have a home on the coast. Okeanos Group could populate your aquarium with the types of fish and plant life that are indigenous to the region. It would be almost as if you have your own little chunk of the sea in your living room.
You could also use your surroundings as the inspiration for your aquarium’s layout. Do you have a home along the Blue Ridge Mountains? You can create an aquascape that perfectly replicates the mountains that you can see out of your bedroom window. Did you get some of your fondest childhood memories around a group of trees where you used to play as a kid? It’s possible to capture the essence of that landscape and convert it into an aquascape.
The interior of your aquarium is limited only by your imagination. Just because everybody else has an odd rocky formation in their aquarium, that doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. Do you want an aquarium that features Mt. Everest? Mt. Fuji? The Grand Canyon? Do you want to use Curiosity photographs from the Mars Surface as the inspiration for your next aquarium? Do you want to capture species from your favorite deepsea fishing spot and use place them in a custom aquarium? Go for it. No matter what you envision, an aquatic version of your favorite place on Earth is within reach.