The Landmark for the Marked Land -Kish Aquarium

About Site Location:

Immaculate Island:

– Kish is a 91.5-square-kilometer resort island in the Persian Gulf. It is part of the Hormozgan Province of Iran.

 – Kish Island was ranked among the world’s 10 most beautiful islands by The New York Times in 2010 and is the fourth most visited vacation destination in Southwest Asia.

– Although it is among the 10 most beautiful islands, it lacks a defining architectural element. On the other hand, despite the rise in construction due to increased demand for more diverse spaces, the new buildings have not taken into account the coastal sight thus creating a discrepancy between the built space and its surrounding environment.

– The proposed site for this project is located in the western part of the island near the coastal line.

Conceptual Design:

Preserving the Coastline and Considering a Landmark

This project evolved from the concept of water bubbles that have drifted to the seashore. This design element aims to merge with the island coastline therefore preserving it while also serving as a landmark that will attract more tourists to the island. These two aspects lead us to a Biomimetic Architectural design

Island in Island

Instead of building on the seashore, we decided to place the aquarium into the water near the coastline like a small island. The placement of the building along the coast would give us sufficient view to the sea and a better feeling for the aquarium spaces.

The Mathematics of Planar Water Bubbles:

Ideally bubbles are spherical. The shape of bubbles are determined by constraints that has a tendency towards minimizing the surface area. Bubbles have minimal surface while having maximum volume and because of this the construction is minimal and economical.

Form Design Process:

Naturally Growing From the Public Space

The public space serves as a focal point from which the building radiates outwards and travels along the coast. One water bubble was considered as a public space and then gradually other bubbles along the coast were added and combined to create the building as a whole in form and plan.


A Voronoi grid-shell structure was chosen for the project for its ability to conform to free forms and curved surfaces, its lightweight nature, efficiency concerns, as well as its ability to conform to the natural shape of water bubbles. Based on estimated calculations, the dimensions of the grid-shell structures were computed. The water tank structure was considered to be a structural concrete wall because of its free form capabilities.

Controlling Harsh Sunlight

 The harshest times of the year in Kish Island are the summers. Due to high humidity and much heat, the comfort zone is either maintained by decreasing the heat or providing a steady rate of wind to deliver the necessary circulation. The humidity would be decreased by stretching the building along the coast to take advantage of the sea breeze and cross ventilation. The harsh sunlight is controlled and softened by cladding the building surface with ETFE cushions which is so light in weight.

Reflecting the Undersea Colors by the Means of Cushions

 The ETFE technology in cushion has enabled us to impress the visitors of the aquarium and Kish Island by reflecting different colors of undersea wonders at nights. This Dramatic effect is doubled when the building is reflected by the surrounding sea water

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