On Our Radar: Beyond The Sea

This is Radar, Elle Decoration’s weekly round-up of the cutting edge and forward-thinking design news taking place all over the world. This week, we’re looking all things water-related. As most South Africans will know, Cape Town is currently experiencing its worst drought in over 100 years and is (terrifyingly) set to run out of water in less than 3 months. Maybe this is what’s spurned our interest in all things aqua?

Blufish Restaurant, Beijing

Across the ocean, and then some, the first thing on our radar is this underwater-inspired Blufish restaurant in the APM shopping mall in Beijing. Designed by Soda Architects in the basement of the mall, the restaurant is light and airy, despite its subterranean surroundings. The ceiling is adorned with a school of laser-cut metal mesh fish, in an array of shapes and colours one would expect to find in a coastal reef. The curved shape of the wall, as well as the foamy-white wall paint further emulates that ocean quality and the terrazzo floor gives lends an endless beach walk feel.

Solar-powered Desalination Pipe

Admittedly, this story isn’t a new one. But for the drought-ridden Western Cape, desalination couldn’t be more of a talking point and this architecturally-forward desalination pipe would be right at home off the Atlantic seaboard coast. Brought to life by Khalili engineers as part of a design competition for the Santa Monica pier in California in 2016, the Pipe is a floating installation that ultimately makes it a greener desalination plant. Generally, desalination can lead to industrial waste, but thanks to the solar power aspect, this system is able to produce 1,5 billion gallons of drinking water a year while making a minimal impact on the environment around it. That, and it’s pretty easy on the eye, too.

Guntû Floating Hotel, Japan

If your dream idea of dealing with the drought is to sail away from it entirely, then this floating hotel in Japan might interest you. Designed by architect Yasube Horibe, the 19-roomed hotel floats along the Seto Inland Sea for either one or three nights. The overall aesthetic is distinctly Japanese, with clean lines and natural fibres and endless views of the oceanic surroundings. Each room is en-suite and the hotel offers luxury spa services, has a pool on board, as well as a sushi bar. guntu.jp

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