About 50 miles from Townsville, Australia, on the sandy bottom of the John Brewer Reef lies an unassuming structure designed by Jason deCaires Taylor. The Coral Greenhouse is currently in pristine condition with small algae or tiny organisms sticking to its edges. Over time, however, the sculptural work is designed to accumulate living aggregations of marine creatures as they colonize the submerged form.

The biomorphic frame, made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and pH-neutral substances, is modeled on samples of nature. The materials help to inspire coral growth and are designed to absorb the ocean environment as colonies sprawl over it. The workbenches line up at the sides and are decorated with simple patterns that create small enclaves for living in the ocean where you can hide from predators or relax. To keep divers away from fragile ecosystems, Taylor tends to establish his marine projects in less vulnerable areas.

At 165 tons, the reserve is the largest installation of the Museum of Underwater Art to date. The A-shaped structure consists of triangular sections and a massive cement base, which provides resistance to waves and adverse weather conditions. Its lamellar sides allow divers, filter-feeding organisms, and fish shoals to swim in and out, while the floating spires protruding from the top of the bundles oscillate with the currents.

Fine sculptures, which were made from plaster by children around the world, inhabit the interior to serve as a reminder that coral needs care. They depict planters looking through microscopes and observing the vulnerable environment. “Thus they are tending to their future, building a different relationship with our marine world, one which recognizes it as precious, fragile, and in need of protection. Our children are the guardians of the Great Barrier Reef,” Taylor writes about this work.

The dives to a site-specific installation tour will begin in 2021. Until then, get an idea of how some of Taylor’s previous work has changed after he was submerged for over a decade on his Instagram. (via FastCompany)

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