Kuta Lagoon

Marine Research Centre – Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Competition 2010

For: Arquitectum and Pelita Harapan University

From all over the world people come to Bali to learn from the rich culture and travel through it´s marvelous landscape. Kuta is a moment of rest along a journey, a place to surf and moreover to enjoy the beach and sun. The vast spiritual openness of the ocean and the beautiful sunset form the basis for the Kuta Lagoon, they should remain untouched if only emphasized.

The functions which are supposed to have outdoor views and natural daylight, should have these without constructing above sea level and disrupting the horizon. Therefore the centre is designed as a floating building submerged in the water, leaving open the stunning views. An inner courtyard, a space which appears to be a void in the ocean, provides in daylight and access. It´s a gateway to another world, one occupied by sea life. Here, at the bottom of the ´lagoon´, one encounters an aquatic garden with it´s bright colored corals and fish.

The triangular parameter of the centre is a result of a functional approach. It has a long facade towards the ocean, as wave breaker it protects the beach from future Tsunami´s and it assures a strong anchoring to the sea bed. In contrast to this pragmatic shape, the courtyard is designed as an eroded landscape of wooden terraces, referring to the Sawah´s so typical for Bali. Seawater flows down – where it´s pumped back into the ocean – and helps stabilizing the building. Within the alien appearance of the centre, the interior shows a vernacular architecture and refers back to this unique location on earth.

An addition to the programme is made in the form of an exposition ring. Visitors not only see the scientists at work, but they also learn about marine life. It is expected that the amount of visitors could increase. The impact of the Marine Research Centre should become bigger than the ambition is right now. Especially this educative content is very important to augment the awareness about the hidden beauty in the sea.