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Fishtank Building

A full-sized office building with walls constituted by a massive aquarium
  (+38, -7)(+38, -7)(+38, -7)
(+38, -7)
  [vote for,
against]

The Fishtank Building would basically constitute a standard office building, but with the outer walls consisting entirely of a continuous aquarium.

The walls would be made from sheets of transparent perspex-like material enclosing water around the building itself, with a thickness of about one meter. A range of marine life (plants and animals) would live therein. Obviously, the water would be cleaned and its temperature carefully regulated as per a standard aquarium. To be enjoyed by both the office workers (from within) and the public (from outside) alike.

Achenar, Jun 15 2005

Almost... http://www.newyork-...chitect=2027&lang=e
Glass throughout the whole building. [RayfordSteele, Jun 19 2005]

Marine Life Double Glazing marine_20life_20double_20glazing
Very similar idea [hippo, Jun 20 2005]

Berlin Radisson http://tinyurl.com/7az5c
Not the same idea at all, but sort of a major aquatic architectural element. And so cool! [Krate, Jun 21 2005]

Aquarium / Computer http://www.nobispro.com/aquatank/
Can these be required? [Zimmy, Dec 07 2005]

[link]






       Aquarium fish are treated badly enough by individuals who keep them as pets; how much more would they suffer when no-one is responsible?
angel, Jun 15 2005
  

       I'm afraid all the movement of the goldfish inside would rock the building to and fro, would have to be flexible.
zeno, Jun 15 2005
  

       I misread this as "fishtank building" with building as a verb. True story.
Texticle, Jun 15 2005
  

       Hahah, imagine if their was an earthquake. Think in the winter, the heating bills would go way up. The glass would also let sun in to the extreme, make air conditioning bills soar as well. The structural integrity would be quite poor as well. [-]   

         

       : (
Night, Jun 16 2005
  

       Remember that transparent concrete? Filled with water that would be *cool*.
Laimak, Jun 16 2005
  

       I wonder whether you'd create each floor as a separate tank on whether a building would be one tall fishtank with deeper water life (and thicker glass) at the bottom.
st3f, Jun 16 2005
  

       If it was all one body of water (which it wouldn't be for obvious safety reaons) would you get different fish at different levels depending on the pressure they were adapted to? Or would you get surface swimming fish at all levels due to the light?
wagster, Jun 16 2005
  

       Then you could name the floors depending on what fish predominantly swim at that level. From Coelacanth on the first level up to Gerridae on the top floor.
bristolz, Jun 16 2005
  

       A promotion at last! I'm so sick of groupers.
wagster, Jun 16 2005
  

       //I'm afraid all the movement of the goldfish inside would rock the building to and fro,//   

       Just can't let go of the fishbowl, can you dear?
Susan, Jun 16 2005
  

       Algae will be a serious problem - might do best to stock the whole thing plecostymus
elhigh, Jun 16 2005
  

       This idea is majorly whacked, but I'd take a second job as a tank cleaner. I'd get to dive all the time, just cleaning up the <-<-<-<-< fishbones.   

       Happy half-anniversery, [Achenar].
normzone, Jun 16 2005
  

       I wanted to do this when I was little and thought I would be rich someday. Cleaning will be difficult...
omegatron, Jun 18 2005
  

       And now with guest appearances from Luca Brasi.   

       Lobby only.   

       + by the way, Why not?
Zimmy, Jun 18 2005
  

       Carp for lawyers sounds better.   

       Anyway, I can see a bazillion reasons why this simply will not work, not the least of which is the pressure factor at the lower levels. That being said, I'm sure that's something that can be thought around, which is why we're here in the first place.   

       One soggy, algae-covered bun.
shapu, Jun 20 2005
  

       "...and this is the floor where the bottom-feeders are"
hippo, Jun 20 2005
  

       *looks up from waxing the tiles to wave at [hippo]'s tour group*
shapu, Jun 20 2005
  

       It would be a great way to get the cities to start producing some of their own food. Catfish on one floor, tapia on the next, shrimp and lobster on another. Great seafood restaurant idea.
cjacks, Oct 03 2005
  

       In a residential building?
*sleeping with the fishes*
methinksnot, Mar 13 2006
  

       defying popular opinion, I bun this. It doesn't say in teh description that it has to be a skyscraper. My city-centre 2-storey office block would work fine - in a zoo the tanks are at least 12 ft deep so 2 storeys should be no problem.
rubyminky, Mar 13 2006
  

       * If completely exposed to sunlight would get v. hot v. quickly in summer and be unbelievably full of algae
* Would require a filter the size of..er...something veeery big
* Shape of building would lead to there being dead spots where detritus would build up, rot and smell of poo
* Where, please, are the water surfaces that are open to the air? Need that for many reasons
* Everyone could see you when you go to the loo
* Fish welfare appears to have been considered not one jot
* Fishbone
squeak, Mar 13 2006
  

       //* Fishbone//   

       Well, at least that seems to fit within the boundries of the idea, from your list.
skinflaps, Mar 13 2006
  

       //defying popular opinion, I bun this.// [rubyminky]
Popular opinion would have this as a good idea.
methinksnot, Mar 13 2006
  

       @methinks, most of the comments here are pointing out problems :)
rubyminky, Mar 15 2006
  

       There may be problems but I think you'll find most commercial aquariums have overcome them. Filtration & oxygen production can be done naturally, using the correct flora and fauna. Heat exchange systems can heat or cool the water (could provide hot water for the building in summer). It doesn't have to be a squared-off building - think organic shapes! No different to fish welfare than a regular aquarium. And, er, it doesn't say the internal walls are see-through so you can go to the toilet in private...   

       [UnaBubba] - couldn't we have some pirahna's in there to feed lawyers to from time-to-time?
Texbinder, Mar 15 2006
  

       //couldn't we have some pirahna's in there to feed lawyers to// Cruel and unkind to pirahnas.
coprocephalous, Mar 15 2006
  

       I like this one.
zigness, Mar 15 2006
  

       Will guys in the office get to take a day off to mourn a dead goldfish?
Tanned Black, Mar 16 2006
  

       //Will guys in the office get to take a day off to mourn a dead goldfish?// Will all the other fish gather around the loo to attend the funeral?
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Mar 16 2006
  

       Concerning temperature regulation, this would be brilliant. One m³ of water stores 1,000 Calories or 1.16 KWh of heat per degree C. Provide external insulation through double glazing, use good passive solar design, and tolerate temperature fluctuations of a few degrees inside, and in all but the most extreme climates there would be no need for air conditioning.   

       Would also provide some protection from neutron bombs.   

       //Coelacanth// I love those guys! They'd need to be in the basement though, 'cause it's dark where they live.
spidermother, Mar 17 2006
  

       Brilliant! Just picture the visual of a shark swimming by you as you wait for the bus. If I were king, this would be my castle.
gardnertoo, May 19 2006
  

       Exactly the combination of megalomania, city landscaping and large predatory fishes that I prefer. +
Saruman, Jun 03 2006
  

       They have a mall like this in oahu... sort of. It's just on one corner, and two stories tall, good for small town business offices. It's always very cool in that mall. I reccomend not putting this on the south side of a building, for considerations of sunlight in the norther hemisphere.   

       Beyond about three stories tall, I'm not sure a structure could hold all the water, and a certain amount of consideration for the animals would be needed.   

       Wish I could remember where the mall was... I was in the Navy, so my main interest was in the bars.
ye_river_xiv, Jun 15 2006
  

       expand on [spidermother] 1,000 Calories to raise a cubic meter of water one degree C.   

       One calorie (small "c") raises the tempature of water one degree. (or more technically, from 20 to 21 C at STP).   

       One cubic meter is 1,000,000 cubic centimeters (100*100*100). So it takes 1,000,000 calories to raise its temp one degree. There are 1000 calories in a Calorie, so 1000 Calories is enough.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 15 2006
  

       Am I the only deranged sicko whose first thought was, "Some Gomer is going to take a high-powered assault rifle and just start shooting that building, just to see if he can crack the whole aquarium."?   

       P.S. I don't own a gun.
thekohser, Jun 15 2006
  

       this would be a headache for the civil/mechanical engineers contracted to build this unstable building.
shinobi, Jun 16 2006
  

       Unstable why? (Actaully asking.) It seems that if built in a cylindrical shape, it could be quite stable.
gardnertoo, Jul 13 2006
  

       Why not use regular rectangular building shapes, but with chamfered or rounded corners to reduce the maintenance issues. As for high pressure in a tall building, simple: just have vertical "cells" say 20 metres (2 atmosphere's of pressure) deep. that way a 60m high building would have 3 tanks encircling it, stacked on top of one another.   

       big 'ol bun
Custardguts, Jul 14 2006
  

       Belated advantage rehash of [spidermother]'s post: In the days of $4.00 gas here in the US, buildings built with aquariums wrapped 'round would be about the most energy efficient in the world.   

       The south side (in the northern hemisphere) could be protected with one great big photovoltaic sheet to provide shade and energy.
shapu, May 23 2008
  

       The cost of heating water is very high. Water has a high heat capacity requiring many BTUs to heat it. While at the same time its fluidity will conduct the heat to the side walls/glass for maximum heat transfer and minimum heat retention.   

       Insulation water, water insulation? I think insulation would work better.
Ozone, May 23 2008
  

       To clean: have a brush on the inside of the tank with strong magnet. Have a handle on the outside with strong magnet. Hold handle to outside of tank and it will pull the brush against the inside to scrape it clean. Not a big issue.
Flipmastacash, May 23 2008
  

       I say one big aquarium, lower down there would be more pressure and the glass would be thicker, allowing less light in.   

       Or maybe just flood the whole building.   

       ... 2 concentric rings with the water in between
FlyingToaster, Apr 05 2009
  

       I often thought of a tall aquarium *in* a building - something that would provide the pressure some fish desire. This is even more awesome.   

       BUN!
cindik, Apr 05 2009
  

       Belated quibbling over [shapu]'s belated advantage rehash of [spidermother]'s post. Outside of the tropics, in places with cold winters, the south side (in the Northern hemisphere) is the one side that can afford to have large areas of glass, since that side gets far more sun in the winter than in the summer. It's the other sides that would need careful shading to prevent overheating.   

       [ozone] You are right, in that buildings which are kept at a constant temperature by active heating and cooling work best with low thermal mass but good insulation; however there are methods for keeping buildings within a comfortable temperature range that work best with very high thermal mass. They can use less energy than conventional methods. You are also right about the poor insulation; hence my suggestion for double glazing on the outside of the tank.
spidermother, Apr 12 2009
  

       Isn't this the third time this week we've had fish in the cafeteria?
nomocrow, Apr 13 2009
  

       I work for an architecture firm and we have actually considered this on a couple of projects (not for the whole building - just the south facade). Unlike Night's post (June 2005) - I think the vast quantities of water will provide good thermal mass to reduce cooling bills in the summer and heating bills in winter. Its like a Trombe wall. We couldn't make it work because of concerns of water leakage, maintenance and keeping the water at an optimum temperature for the fish. Its a good half baked idea though [+]
energy guy, Apr 14 2009
  
      
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