Biomimicry: Coral Reef
Title: Resilient Temporary Structure

Name: Tan Youen 

Malaysia was affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004. The country's worst affected areas were the northern coastal areas and outlying islands like Penang and Langkawi. Families, friends, and neighbours were forced to watch as their homes and community were destroyed by these tremendous natural disasters. This issue has been raised to relevant architects or builders to take initiative and build temporary disaster housing for the victims. The issue I would like to address is by learning from coral reef that seeks solutions for counteracting natural disasters, for instance tsunami and acts as a natural barrier as well. Objective is to form a resilient structure that can withstand and absorb the impact of current, waves or wind. To allows a comprehensive and self- sustaining building as mimicking from Coral, a self-balanced underwater ecosystem.

Coral Reef

Biomimicry is a discipline that looks to nature to find solutions to human needs. A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.


Coral reefs are not only important to protecting our shoreline from storms and wave damage. The coral reef structure buffers shorelines against currents, waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion.


Project Description

The relationship and connection between architecture and nature is one that has brought forth many questions, criticisms, and solutions. Today there is a new form of design that was introduced several years ago which requires modern man to look at the natural processes found in nature for inspiration. These processes have been around for decades but only recently has their true potential begun to emerge. The question is, can we take the philosophy behind nature's living organisms and use them to aid in the development of mankind? We can and it is called Biomimicry.


Coral reefs is selected for my research of the topic. By mimicking a variety of elements from Coral, the final composition will not only respond to the activities within the building, but also to the surrounding environment. This project displays how biomimicry can be used as an integrative architectural design component in order to achieve complete unity between the building, the users, and the environment.

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