One of my primary goals is to tear down your preconceptions about aquatic architecture and highlight the near-endless possibilities. One of the most difficult traditions to break through is the shape of an aquarium. The vast majority of home aquariums are either TV-sized rectangular boxes, or spherical fish bowls. There isn’t anything wrong with these two aquarium shapes, per say – it’s just that these aren’t one-size-fits-all tanks. If you want a truly beautiful piece of aquatic art, then you should refuse compromise and dream up a truly unique aquarium that fits the aesthetic of your living space and your personality.
The best way to help you dream up new possibilities is to look at the world of architecture. Because there are so many more buildings than there are aquariums, that means that there are countless opportunities to find inspiration for your next aquatic project. Today, we’re going to look at the two-meter-wide House K in Tokyo by Hiroyuki Shinozaki.
This building is flat – but not in the sense that it’s dull or boring. This long and slender home makes the best use of an irregular plot of land by pulling some clever architectural tricks. From the outside it looks like the home is much too narrow to accommodate comfortable living, but on the inside it’s fairly cozy. One half of the building is wider than the other (so if you look down on it from the sky it would be shaped roughly like a lower-case k). The narrower section contains all of the utilitarian rooms, like the bathroom, kitchen, and closets. You can find living rooms and bedrooms in the wider section of the house.
You could use the same principles in an aquarium. Flat, slender aquariums can stretch across a wall a bit like a picture frame. It might seem uncomfortably small, but flat aquariums can provide more than enough space for fish. You just have to match the right species of fish to the aquascape.
There’s also another way to draw inspiration from the quirky House K. It would be possible to create a misshapen aquarium that is wide at one part and narrow at other parts. Imagine, for example, a pyramid-shaped aquarium that was thick at the bottom and narrower at the top. The lower section could accommodate plants, bottom-dwellers, and gravel. The narrower sections at the top of the aquarium would allow viewers to take a closer inspection of the brightly-colored fish that prefer to swim near the surface of the water. This technique would allow you to create gradations or transitions in your aquarium or to even section-off different parts of an aquascape for different purposes. Truly, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.