Don't Be a Square! Tube-Shaped Aquariums

Fin's Labyrinth

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If you were tasked with transforming a chunk of land in the middle of a city into a sustainable farm, what would you do? That’s a question that the Center for Urban Farming Competition posed to designers, environmentalists, and architects. It’s a tricky question because urban space usually doesn’t lend itself very well to farming. Tall buildings block crucial sunlight and real estate is far too valuable to devote hundreds of acres to farmland.

The winner of the competition came up with a clever solution: rather than forcing farmland into a city, designers Allison Newmeyerm Stewart Hicks, and Joseph Altshuler came up with the idea of building a massive aquatic farm that just so happens to double as a park. Their proposal, dubbed Fin’s Labyrinth (a play on words of Pan’s Labyrinth), envisions winding water-filled tubes that snake across a public space.

Fin's Labyrinth Aerial Concept Art

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At first glance, you might think that Fin’s Labyrinth is just a show — it exists to beautify a public space, attract tourists, and give people something to gawk over. However, it would probably be more accurate to call this massive structure an interactive supermarket. The tubes would act as an aquatic farm for raising tilapia, trout, and other tasty aquatic denizens. Guests would be able to pick out their meal, track the fish as it makes its way through the winding tunnels, and then enjoy a fresh meal after the fish is prepared by the farm’s staff.

The bad news is that Fin’s Labyrinth probably won’t ever get made. The good news is that building tube-like aquariums in your own home or office wouldn’t be as complicated as you might think. With the right professional guidance, you can install a beautiful custom aquarium inspired by the fantastical Fin’s Labyrinth.

Fin's Labyrinth Park

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What I love so much about this tube idea is that it allows you to expand an aquarium out into multiple living spaces. Imagine, for example, that you have a tube aquarium that twists through the living room, goes through a wall, and then snakes along the wall in the dining room. Your beloved fishy pets could follow you throughout the house from room to room.

This concept is reminiscent of the fish highway, which we covered in an earlier post. The fish highway explored the concept beautifully, but it could definitely use a few improvements. If you’ll notice, the material that the aquascaper used to create the highway is rather thick, which puts more emphasis on the materials of the aquarium than on the actual fish. Tube-shaped aquariums would overcome this hurdle because it’s basically impossible to see the thickness of glass or acrylic when it’s rounded like that.

Fish Highway

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Whether you go with a rounded tube aquarium or a rectangular fish highway, these room-spanning aquariums are sure to wow your guests. Think outside of the box (literally!) with your own personal Fin’s Labyrinth!


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