Ben Kelly

Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea

The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the historical explorations of reefs to the current deterioration of these delicate and vital ecosystems which, in their richness and diversity, are home to a quarter of all living species in the sea.

BKD’s approach was to capture the beauty of coral structures and the wonder of diving beneath the ocean’s surface. A ceiling of illuminated Barrisol is suspended across the space, beneath which a mass of coral clusters are revealed. Constructed from a slotted hexagonal module to create an organic growing landscape, they reference coral polyp’s own constructions. This new landscape of coral clusters spreads through the gallery, encasing objects, interpretation and interactives.

The palette of materials used throughout support the objects and enhance the immersive visitor experience. Lighting design by Studio ZNA creates subtle colour shifts across the Barrisol ceiling and low level clusters that enhance the beauty of each coral specimen and reef creature.

ClientNatural History Museum and Catlin Insurance