Create a Rippling, Flowing Living Space like San Francisco's Steinhart Aquarium

Steinhart Aquarium

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I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things about aquariums is that they blur the line between the aquatic and the terrestrial, the natural and the artificial. Some of the most stunning aquariums are ones that play with this tension. The formation of coral in an aquarium might look wild and natural, but Okeanos Group can shape the coral so that it complements the architecture in the rest of your living space.

To get a good example of what I mean, I point you to the UrbanA&O-designed Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, specifically The Water Planet Gallery. This aquarium was specifically built to be an entertaining and beautiful space for the public, but you can easily draw inspiration from it for your private home aquarium.

Rippling Waves in the Steinhart Aquarium

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The blue-gray walls of the exhibit ripple and ebb like flowing water. These waves aren’t merely painted onto the walls – they are actually contoured with mountains and valleys of wave-like ripples. This ingenious architecture has an incredible impact on the aquarium’s aesthetic. Not only are the beautiful contours peaceful and calming, but they also create a natural flow in the aquarium. Guests will almost instinctively travel with the water, as if walking downstream.

There are a couple of different ways that you could incorporate the Steinhart Aquarium aesthetic into your living space. The easiest option would be to utilize your aquarium’s color scheme. Blue colors will compliment your aquarium perfectly, and you can also replicate the colors on your coral or fish. A red sofa is a bold choice, but it could create a vibrant symmetry if a nearby aquarium has flashy red fish or scarlet coral.

San Francisco's Steinhart Aquarium

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If you prefer a more natural living space, you could include wood tables that match the color of the wooden branches in your fresh water aquarium. Simple aquariums with fine white sand would go perfectly with Japanese-inspired zen garden art pieces that also use white sand and smooth, black stones.

Another option is to mimic the shapes of water, just like the Steinhart Aquarium. With a bit of hunting you could find aqua-inspired furniture like this rippling bench. The Mira Hotel in Hong Kong has a similar but different wave-like aesthetic that you could incorporate into the room. Just be open-minded. The sky (or in this case, the deepest part of the sea) is the limit. Just remember that your aquarium can be part of your living space, as important to the overall design of your home as the wall paint or the furniture.


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