Bay Ecotarium: Runner-Up of World Design Awards 2021. Inspired by ocean geometry, organic forms of coral reefs and sea urchins, this incredible facility sits on the edge of the stunning ocean shoreline of Montego Bay in Jamaica. With direct sight-lines to the Cruise Ship terminal, three volumetric shells grow out of the ocean drawing with it a tidal rise of a kinetic waterfall, cascading down the panoramic sky-view of the “Blue Hope” restaurant. The mystic waterfall beckons the visitors arriving from the oceanside via water taxies, inviting a magical ride up the glass-pod elevators leading into the massive aquarium and living museum.
The 2.2 million gallon aquarium will hold about 30,000 animals and 300 species in immersive salt-water cones juxtaposed with fresh water jewel tanks, girded with engaging exhibits, with a solar-powered roof-top belvedere. A 270 seat ‘reverse-dome’ theater brings the meta-narrative of ocean conservation and climate change to life. The second conical volume holds educational classrooms, learning labs, concessions, a live roof-top mangrove and café, while the third volume holds the filtration, life support systems and generators.
The shell structure eliminates pillars inside the building, offers the most stable configuration to hold large volumes of saltwater with living habitat, minimizes points of contact on the ground- thus minimizing the physical footprint on the pristine beaches of the Montego Bay shoreline, populates a bio mimetic façade embedding local species of micro-algae and photo-bio reactors, laced with perforated window surfaces akin to the bioluminescence naturally occurring in the waters, in symbiotic visual harmony.
The learning center will cater to over 1.2 million visitors and 500,000 children each year in addition to a significantly large virtual web-based e-learning outreach while aspiring to be a beacon of green/ blue economies for island nations around the world.
Climate & Oceans Living Museum
World Design Awards Category
Educational Design concept
San Francisco + Montego Bay
George Jacob, Anouk Legendre