Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
By Jill McDonnell
Images courtesy of Aquarium Architecture
For home- and business owners looking to punch up their design palette—along with owning a status symbol sure to be the envy of land and sea dwellers alike—aquarium installations are an increasingly popular choice. But as creative director Roland Horne of Aquarium Architecture notes, these pieces definitely aren’t the goldfish tanks reminiscent of many a dentist office.
Aquarium Architecture has designed and installed aquariums across the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa—from a Martian-looking piece for an art fair that sold for more than $300,000 to an 8,000-liter saltwater tank for a New York casino that directly replicated what one naturally would find on the Great Barrier Reef.
“It’s the wow factor that so many people desire,” Horne says.
One of the main charges tasked to Horne and his firm—which is based in London and New York and comprised of 15 experts in the fields of architecture, operations, lighting, installation, and maintenance—is helping clients add a certain ambiance to a particular room.
“We ask ourselves what kind of mood our client is trying to create, and what type of lighting effect,” Horne says. “We may be presented with the client’s original desire, and after we delve further into their ultimate goal, we often present them with a commission that better meets their needs.”
Horne and his team also are careful to consider how an aquarium will interact with its surrounding environment. “Our designs must make sense and complement the space and story in a classy, luxurious way,” he says. “For instance, I don’t want big white fish in a house that is absolutely dark and moody, unless we are going after an abstract look.”
Though these installations definitely are not for the faint of checkbook, Horne’s innovative creations are enough to make us landlocked design aficionados want to study ichthyology.