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The Coralarium by Jason deCaires Taylor

While we are very surprised by the sudden removal of eco-art pieces by the authorities we respect the people, traditions and customs of the Maldives. The removal process of the installed artwork was peaceful and friendly without interruption to our world famous service.

The Coralarium gallery structure and the tree lined underwater coral boulevard remains intact, ensuring the coral restoration program remains alive and well. We have initiated immediate plans for the next exhibit, creating a new attraction within the Coralarium gallery.


THE CORALARIUM

WHERE LAND, SEA & ART COLLIDE

The Coralarium is situated in the centre of the largest developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, on the island resort of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi and is a semi-submerged tidal gallery that interlinks the skyline, inter-tidal waterline and seabed.
The work aims to create a direct pathway to the ocean. A long swimming pool transects the island and denotes the starting point. The installation begins by following this line into the clear shallow waters of the sea where an underwater coral pavement begins. Sea-scaped with underwater poplar trees and endemic planted corals it heads 100m through the shallows towards the underwater realm, a symbolic pathway to another world and the starting point of the artistic intervention.
After a 50m snorkel/swim you encounter a submerged staircase which leads up towards a semi submerged tidal building. The building is cube shaped, six metres tall, with its front façade submerged up to median tide of three metres. The design of the walls is based on natural coral structures and is porous to allow the tides, current and marine life to pass through it and the structure to “breathe” within its location. The complex structural formation is designed to dissipate oceanic forces whilst creating a protective space that encourages nature to colonise and seek refuge. The construction, using high grade, polished, marine stainless steel aims to reflect and mirror the surrounding blues of the coral atoll and the sky above. A mirage on the horizon, that over time will take on the patina of the sea as it becomes colonised by algae and weathers within the environment.
The entrance of the building is situated above water and leads into a dry elevated viewing platform. The roof is perforated with a coral pattern to allow beams of light to illuminate the individual works and a series of submerged lights to illuminate the space during the night. The Coralarium becomes a portal or interface to the wonders of the underwater world.
Access to the Coralarium is available through guided tours in small groups lead by the resort’s resident marine biologists several times a day.

For more information contact reservations.maldives@fairmont.com