In the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA), located off the coast of Townsville (Australia), the largest installation, the “Coral Greenhouse”, has been created. In the future it should become a base for the growth of new corals and settlement of other sea creatures.
The Underwater Greenhouse weighs more than 58 tons and it is 12 meters high. It is surrounded by 20 statues created by the famous British sculptor and protector of the marine environment — Jason de Kears Taylor; based on children sketches from local and international schools.
Each of the sculptures represents coral reef rescue-students, made of stainless steel and pH-neutral materials that help stimulate the natural growth of corals.
The «Coral Greenhouse» includes a variety of educational scenarios, from marine science and coral cultivation to environmental art and architecture.
«One of the main project objectives was to involve young people in marine science. We wanted to generate their interest in the health of the reef and create a unique opportunity to explore it in an exciting and dynamic way,» says Jason de Kears Taylor.
According to the author of the project, the design of the greenhouse is biomorphic, that is, its form is determined by the forces of nature. As the greenhouse is slowly colonized by the reef, it will be gradually absorbed by the environment, embodying the philosophy of organic architecture, which is designed to combine artificial man-made structures with the environment.
The height of the sculptures covers different areas of water, and therefore different flora and fauna. This allows young fish to use the statues as a shelter from predators, which creates an artificial reef habitat — a place where fish can spawn and be protected.
MOUA is an ecotourism and science project. The complex of underwater museum installations is designed to attract scientists, students and tourists to educational snorkeling and diving as well as to draw attention to the ecological problem of the Great Barrier Reef destruction.