WHAT architecture - London


Scale1 sqm
Budget€ 100
Design Year2011

This project originates from one of our Iranian staff.

We all recognise tradition is important; one tradition which celebrates the Persian New Year (March 21st) is to give goldfish. However five millon goldfish die in Iran each year during Nowruz period due to neglect. This project looks to design and build a sustainable environment for 'Geezer' the office goldfish for Reza, our Iranian project manager. This required the reconfiguration of a green-blue fish tank: the greater the surface area to volume, the better the oxidation of water. A standard fish bowl commonly has a depth:span ratio of nearly 1:1 where as the worlds largest freshwater body Lake Superior has a depth:span ratio of nearly 1,500:1. So a goldfish tank needs to be as shallow as possible to maximise oxygenation. Put another way, fish bowls are often a domestic convenience in their siting on living room book shelves yet show scant regard for the existence for the fish itself. There's something fishy about goldfish, like potted flowers they are still life. 

Furthermore, embracing the urban myth that a gold fish has a 5-second memory, there seems no reason to make a fish tank larger than the distance it can travel in that time. Assuming 4 body lengths per second, for Geezer, after travelling 600mm the underworld reinvents itself... 

...that was one year ago! Today we are happy to celebrate another year with Geezer. Reza's left though.