Architecture, art, design, and eco research

...seen at the Aqua Terra Zoo 'Haus des Meeres' (House of the Sea) in Vienna in the beginning of the New Year 2012.

fig. original: Turtle 'Puppi' swims with her thick shell in the shark pool in the Aqua Terra Zoo 'Haus des Meeres' in Vienna, January 2012. The turtle originates from the Maldives (1975) where 'Puppi' was rescued by a family from becoming a soup ingredient. Today, she is the oldest animal in the Aqua Terra Zoo. Since April 2011, the major of the City of Vienna Dr. Michael Häupl (studied Biology and Zoology at the University of Vienna) is the patron of the human friendly 'Puppi'.

The Aqua Terra Zoo hosts seawater fishes like sharks, free running little rain forest monkeys to tropical birds. It was built already in 1956 into one of six Viennese flak towers from the 2nd World War and is today museum and research space. The building stands like a monument to human responsibility and makes aware that we are the architects of our future.

At the 'Haus des Meeres' visitors can learn about the history of the towers at the permanent exhibition 'Erinnern im Inneren' - means as much as 'Memorize Inside', and think about the future such as the comic urban info-design intervention 'Save our Oceans' by artist/designer Oliver von Feistmantl invites to more awareness for plastic garbage in the sea. The intervention shows a fish sculpture and introduces visitors in front of the tower into the endangered environment of animals which are dying from eating plastic or getting caught in plastic trash which can practically not be removed (resolves 450 years in our oceans) - such as the flak tower with up to 3.5 metres thick walls was built to resist.

fig. original: The tower itself remembers history which is also reflected by artist Lawrence Weiner (born 1942 in Bronx/New York), who installed one of his text sculptures in 1991 on the roof top of the building: "Smashed to pieces (in the still of the night)". The writing appears in German too: "Zerschmettert in Stücke (im Frieden der Nacht)". The City of Vienna was bombed heavily during the war.

The flak tower in the Esterhazypark was originally used as defense tower during the last months of the war; since 2007, it provides on the terrace of the 9th floor one of the best panorama views over the city.

fig. original: Some impressions (sharks, monkey, crocodile) from the Aqua Terra Zoo 'Haus des Meeres' in Vienna, January 2012. Find more on haus-des-meeres.at.

Source: Original article with images on http://www.fashionoffice.org/culture/2012/aquaterrazoo1-2012.htm.

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