How can we learn to care for the marine environment? – Experience and Emerge in Singapore’s Underwater Life

Project Statement

Singapore is an island. There is a lot of water that surrounds this country, and marine life that fills the oceans that enclose us. However, there are no rehabilitation centers, learning centers or volunteering areas that are quite close to the water. In addition, there are no organisations that help to inform people about the life under the sea, the dangers marine life face on a daily basis and overall, organisations providing aid for the harm that we are doing, due to the amount of trash that ends up in the waters everyday. I want to design an area where people are able to learn and understand about the different animals that can be found in the oceans surrounding Singapore and possibly see them with their own eyes, in aquariums, or during activities involving the convenience of the water being extremely close. This structure will not only be an area for visiting, but for people to learn and help bring awareness to the impact that certain aspects of their actions have on the wildlife, while also finding ways to reduce the use of plastics, starting with cleaning up the oceans, volunteering. Lastly, I want to use a part of the structure to create a rehabilitation center for the marine life, that are rescued, or brought in.

Users: The main people who would be interested or users of this space would be people who are interested in learning or wanting to know more about marine life, and life underwater. The users can also be people who want to begin helping, volunteering with cleaning up the oceans and the water, while also aiding for the wildlife that are possibly injured.

Needs: The users of this space would require basic necessities such as washrooms, spacious seating areas, possible learning centers with tables, chairs, couches, a cafe for the users, and other recreation activities, connected to the water. As one enters the architecture, they will clearly be able to see a reception/lobby area. There will also be a rehabilitation center/area, where there are experts in the field around to help aid, and teach others about helping the injured marine life. Also, there will be an aquarium, perfect for tourists, who want to learn about the different animals that can be found in the waters near Singapore. Lastly, I believe that having an open area outside, which is right near the water/ocean, will be very beneficial to volunteers who come to the space to help clean up the water and help the animals.

Insights: This piece of architecture that I design, should be able to withstand for a long time and be able to sustain the rain and humidity of Singapore, with the fact of being located quite close to the water too. The best material at the moment for this design would be concrete, as it is one of the most used materials in Singapore and it will be able to withstand the rapid changes in weather. The overall design of the architecture will be very different from the common buildings and structures that are found in Singapore. It will have quite an abstract shape, which will definitely catch the eye of tourists and visitors, due to its uniqueness in design and meaning.


After figuring out the path I wanted to take for my project I needed to conduct research, and see what are the similar components in other aquariums that are successful, and firsthand understand what are elements people enjoy when walking into an aquarium. 

I first looked at aquariums around the world:

“Poseidon’s Realm” part of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo

  • The aquarium has a wave-shaped entrance which welcomes visitors, and the changing temperatures, ambient sounds and various cieling heights greatly add to the overall experience of the space for the visitors. 
  • The main path, from the entrance widens into smaller bays, that lead visitors to individual tanks, for their marine life, to give a more intimate and one-to-one experience between the animals and the people.
  • Overall, the space has a very modern look, and definitely catches ones eyes. 


National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, Devon

  • This structure includes six exhibition areas, a large shop, a restaurant, a viewing gallery, an ice-cream parlour, washrooms, offices, workshop and engineering areas. 
  • There is also a 2.3 million litre ocean tank with a tunnel, an underwater cave and a coral reef exhibition tank and an auditorium for the visitors. 



Oregon Coast Aqaurium

  • The new center this aquarium is creating have a true facility for the animals they rehabilitate and help, behind the scenes.
  • They will have a surgical facility as well for the marine life 
  • While making these renovations they are going to be improving the visitor experience, and they will be providing more knowledge to the visitors about the animals, through the help they are providing for the marine life. It will be a new look, rather than only looking at the animals through a glass.


With a depth introduction to different and unique pieces of architecture that share quite a similar purpose as my idea, I decided to interview an individual who would be a potential user of the space I am designing, but can also add to my design, and share their thoughts regarding the benefits and the certain drawbacks of the space: Stuti Sinha, a student at Singapore American School. 

A pattern I found in the research I conducted, and my interview, was the fact that, there was a large emphasis on:

  • Unique shape of the structure (should catch ones eyes
  • Integrate activities that visitors are going to enjoy, and can’t find in another space
  • Should consist of the basic necesities, washrooms, cafetaria, gift shop, offices, open space
  • Windows are very important, should not be a completely enclosed space and a lot of natural light should come into the space

These were all factors I kept in mind when I started designing. 

Site Analysis

After considering the different requirements of my space and the multiple components I am integrating into the architecture, I found that East Coast Park, Singapore would be the perfect location for the structure.

This location, East Coast Park, has a lot of open space, quite a lot of natural light that can be incorporated into the structure, and it is located right near the water.

I knew I wanted the appearance of the architecture to draw people in, so I decided to shape structure to resemble a fish that is quite popular in Singapore, yellow-tail scad.

Drawings – Schematics

Now knowing the location and the shape of the structure, I was able to create my Site Plan. It highlights the different elements that surround the space and it helped me use those elements to my advantage when designing.

Sketch of the Site Plan for the architecture


Rooms in My Architecture:

  • Rehabilitation Center
    • 3 different Rooms to make up the center
    • Each room designated for certain process and activities
    • Also there will be an open space, with tanks for the animals
  • Reception Area
    • Will be an open space, that will lead to the different areas/sections of the architecture
  • Aquarium
    • Will consist of multiple different exhibition areas, for the marine life
    • All the different exhibition areas will lead to the center, with quite a large aquarium, which is large enough to allow people to dive, and the people on the other side are able to see exactly what is happening. 
  • Classrooms/Learning Centers
    • 2 rooms, similar in design, where people are able to relax and be comfortable when learning. 
    • The rooms would also be used for the volunteers. 
  • Cafe
    • Quite a large room, that can be used by the staff, and the visitors too.
  • Washrooms
    • 4 washrooms located around the space
    • For the use of the visitors
  • Offices/Rooms
    • The offices for the instructors and the staff
    • Spaces for them to relax, and there will be washrooms near to where they are too. 
  • Gift Shop
    • Will be located at the end of the aquarium exhibition/tour
    • An average sized room

The Floor Plan was quite easy to create after clearly identifying the needs for the space.

Sketch of the Floor Plan for the architecture

Perspective Sketches:

Above Perspective of the architecture

Drawings – Design Development


3D-Model of the architecture

SketchUp Model:

SketchUp model of the architecture

Building Materials Moodboard:

Aquarium: Floor Plan

Hand-Sketch Floor Plan:

Rehabilitation Center: Floor Plan

Hand-Sketch Plan:
SketchUp Floor Plan:

Call to Action

The marine life, and their habitats need preserving. The animals are living organisms that need to be cared for, and everyone should understand the ways these animals are getting harmed daily, and ways they are able to prevent the extinction of animals as well. 

So here is what you can do:

Beach Cleanups is a beginning step in making this change. Learning about the different volunteering organisations in your community will help you see the different possibilities you are available to, regarding helping our environment. An example of an organisation, that do infact participate in Global Beach Cleanups is “Ric O’ Barry’s Dolphin Project.”

Understanding the Issue, is also something we can do. If we know more about what is happening in the world and the different ways we can help the issue, we will be improving the lives of the marine animals, and their futures. Saving the Oceans

Share this project
  1. April 23, 2020 by Anushka

    This is so cool! I’d love to see this built!

    • April 25, 2020 by Rushali Shetty

      Sustainability is the need of the hour. Many species are becoming extinct due to our callousness. It is evident that a lot of research has gone into the subject.
      The location chosen is ideal and the detailing in the sketches are impressive. Well done.

  2. April 23, 2020 by Sriya V

    I think the idea is very imaginative and the purpose itself is very cool and thought invoking too as the environmental aspects of it really make you stop and think about marine life and how important it should be to us.

  3. April 23, 2020 by Rhea

    A very detailed plan of action with great insights. The location for the aquarium is so apt and it being made of glass just adds to the beauty of it. I love it!

  4. April 23, 2020 by Asha Anish

    This is a fantastic and amazing project! I would definitely love to see a space similar to this in the future, and there definitely needs to be a more awareness to the issues you have highlighted at the end.

  5. April 23, 2020 by Saachi Anish

    Hey, I liked how you learnt from the examples and used them as your inspiration to create your building. I too think that the significant form of the architecture, the unique shape of it sets it apart from other buildings and would attract more people.

    • April 24, 2020 by Wenlin

      It’s a very detailed and creative idea for a good purpose. I love the design of the architecture and the layout inside!

  6. April 23, 2020 by Aradhitah Cowlagi

    This project is certainly very well thought out and insightful! Your passion and concern for the marine environment is clearly shown! It would be wonderful to see this being built!

  7. April 24, 2020 by Shravya

    Not only is your idea creative, but it also functional! It’s going to be put to very good use. It’s clear that your genuine passion for marine ecosystems is what propelled you to create such a well-thought-out design.

  8. April 24, 2020 by Wenlin

    This is a very detailed and Creative idea. I love the architecture of the building and the layout!

  9. April 24, 2020 by Avneet Bindra

    I am also very interested in marine life so its really inspiring to see someone take an initiative like this. Very informative and detailed plan. Would love to see this come to life!

  10. April 24, 2020 by Mathieu Leclerre

    Your project is very purposeful, and I personally have a connection to it as I’m very attached to animals, and especially marine wildlife. I like how you’ve targeted specific issues, and created a call for action, as it will hopefully add possibilities of your project being put to real life.

  11. April 24, 2020 by Anish Kanaran

    This is an excellent plan, very well thought. You should pursue your talent further to be a great designer architect focusing on the sustainability and preserving nature. Do try presenting this plan to Singapore Authorities. All the best and keep doing what you feel the best.

  12. April 25, 2020 by Veronica

    I’ve very impressed with how thorough your sketches are and the amount of detail you put into each sketch and information you used. I liked your call to action and the rehabilitation center and floor plan you did and was amazed by the intricate details put into your work! Good job!

  13. April 25, 2020 by sara khemani

    I love how detailed and creative this is! It was so interesting to see how architecture relates to caring for marine life! The architectural components were so well drawn and clear! Great Job!!

    • April 25, 2020 by Rajagopal Sridhar

      It’s a very detailed work and could see a lot of research behind this. The whole project with a great objective is well planned out. The detailing of every aspect of the project, scope, drawings, call to action shows the completeness in approach. Great work, congrats.

  14. April 25, 2020 by Rajagopal Sridhar

    It’s a very detailed work and could see a lot of research behind this. The whole project with a great objective is well planned out. The detailing of every aspect of the project, scope, drawings, call to action shows the completeness in approach. Great work, congrats.

  15. April 25, 2020 by Annie Manassee

    I really like your project, I think it is a great solution to a problem! I have really loved seeing you project develop, as I was in your Cadre. From the beginning, it was clear that you were dedicated to this project and you put a ton of time and effort into the project. I love your sketches and renderings! Great job!

  16. April 25, 2020 by Manjeet Chhabra

    Wow..that’s very impressive work Siya. Saving life under water and conserving oceans and marine resources is essential for our own existence. Creating awareness is a great way to further this cause. Good luck, I hope to see the learning Cum rehabilitation center in Singapore soon.

  17. April 26, 2020 by Caroline

    I think this is a really well thought out project and I can definitely tell that this is something you are passionate about. Good job.

  18. April 26, 2020 by Delfine

    Hiya Siya! I’m really happy for you! Everything turned out perfectly! You did so much for every deadline for the GOA, and each time it was amazing. I think you should be super elated! :))

  19. April 26, 2020 by Sharon

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Pending Moderation”. Reason: Whoops. Google reCAPTCHA was not submitted. *]
    I really like how detailed your process is, especially the drawing, creativity, and the practicality of it. Especially living in Singapore, it allows us to appreciate and learn about marine life rather than just visiting the ocean by walking or exercising at East Coast Park. Your passion for architecture and effort has really shown and I am really excited for this to be built! 🙂

  20. April 26, 2020 by Hannah Sun

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    Hi Siya, as someone who also lives in Singapore, your project is a very attainable solution! I liked how you analyzed the space you needed with detail. Your 3D was so simple yet so effective!

  21. April 26, 2020 by Ashmeet Chhabra

    Good Job Siya! <3

  22. April 26, 2020 by Kalissa F

    Wow! This is really cool and something that I was unaware that Singapore isn’t doing considering it is a coastal country. I love the artistic aspect of your proposed plan but also the meaning behind the whole project to educate people!

  23. April 27, 2020 by Rojan Naimi

    Hi Siya! I learned a lot from your project about the need for marine life protection in Singapore and the need for sustainability. I not only love the idea of your project and the way it helps your community, but the final sketch-up design is also such a cool building! Great job!

  24. April 27, 2020 by Daniel

    I love the idea of a rehabilitation and education centre for life under water, as it is a crucial thing that we humans have to improve in, but many people don’t know about this issue. This would definitely help the situation.

  25. April 27, 2020 by Richard

    Hi, Siya. This is amazing!!! I really like how you focus on this topic and try to solve the problem in an architectural way. Your building reminds me of the New Hampshire Aquarium. The architects who design that building also tried to raise people’s attention to protect marine animals. Good job!!!

  26. April 28, 2020 by Jay

    Your idea is interesting and I love the way you have presented the sketches and drawings you have made for the architecture. Bringing awareness to life underwater is extremely crucial, as you are helping spread the word along the way!

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