AccorHotels’ first and only Fairmont Resort in the Maldives launches the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery, created by renowned underwater naturalist and British artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
Situated around the pristine atoll where Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the sole hotel, the Coralarium is a semi-submerged tidal gallery, exhibiting a series of sculptural artworks on the skyline. Homage to the abundant sea life and pristine coral house reef surrounding the resort, this is the Maldives’ first and only coral regeneration project in the form of an Underwater Art Installation.
With his large following and international influence in media and environmental conservation, Jason deCaires Taylor’s collaboration with Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi creates an ideal global platform to showcase the fragile beauty of the Maldives and our oceans. Hailing from England, Taylor was the first of a new generation of artists to shift the concepts of the Land art movement into the realm of the marine environment.
Both AccorHotels and the Fairmont brand have a strong reputation globally for sustainable tourism and are committed to improving the well-being of local communities and ecosystems wherever they operate and addressing the environmental impacts of their operations. Fairmont is renowned for capturing the heart of a destination through community engagement and memorable guest experiences.
Guests will be able to enjoy the view of the ocean, with the semi-submerged Coralarium perfectly placed in line with the horizon. Leading from the 200-meter infinity pool at the heart of the island, Taylor has created the installation as an extension of the resort, with an underwater pathway that allows guests to participate in the propagation of corals. A short swim from the shore leads visitors down to an underwater realm with human-shaped figures and vibrant marine life. The materials, textures, and configuration have been carefully crafted to encourage the settlement of biomass, so the work replicates the reef, giving nature a chance to thrive.
The artificial reefs are created with non-toxic, pH-neutral marine-grade compounds free from harmful pollutants, which will eventually become an integral part of the local ecosystem. The museum structure acts as a sheltered space that offers a permanent sanctuary for ocean life such as fish, crustaceans, octopuses and marine invertebrates offering visitors a new experience to engage with art and nature. Focusing on coral and biomass restoration, the installation strives to be the most high-end coral regeneration project in the Maldives.
The Coralarium holds three dimensions of artwork: rooftop sculptures placed at the top of the cube structure; the underwater art pieces and sculptures placed on plinths at various heights to highlight tidal movements; and the semi-submerged cube, which creates a bridge and fusion between the underwater and overwater worlds. Based upon a stainless-steel cube structure at a depth of three meters in the lagoon, raising up six meters from the seafloor.
Ten hybrid organic formations and a series of terrestrial shapes such as fruit, shells and leaf formations will be exhibited in the underwater gallery. The abstract human-like figures are entwined in ‘ivy’ and stand on the molded roots of Banyan trees, covered in sculpted sponges, mushroom corals, and staghorn coral formations.
The various forms of ocean life complete the statues, transforming them from inert structures to textured, growing and living organisms, celebrating the marine diversity of the Maldives while creating an unforgettable experience for visitors to snorkel through the Coralarium.
Guided tours in small groups led by the resort’s resident marine biologists are available several times a day. In the evening, an integrated light system illuminates the museum and attracts marine life while creating an impressive sight from the island shore.
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi offers 120 keys. The all-villa resort is ideal for couples or families, and features overwater private pool villas as well as luxury safari-style tented villas nestled in the island’s lush interior jungle.