Guinness World Records recognises Summer Island Maldives’ 3D printed reef as world’s largest

The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised Summer Island’s 3D printed coral reef as the largest of its kind in the world, including in the Guinness list of world records this year.

The artificial reef was submerged in 2018, at Summer Island’s ‘Blue Lagoon’ – a sandy part of the lagoon, where the resort hopes to create a new coral reef ecosystem.

The 3D printed reef aims to provide a new home for corals, fish and other marine species, and demonstrates how new technologies such as 3D printing can be used to protect the Maldives from climate change and sea level rise. As the world’s lowest lying nation, also recognised by Guinness World Records, the Maldives is especially vulnerable to sea level rise.

The 3D reef project started in Melbourne, Australia, where Industrial designer Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab used sophisticated computer modelling to design reef structures similar to the coral reefs found in the Maldives.

A large 3D printer worked tirelessly for 24 hours moulding the structures out of ceramic, an inert substance similar to the calcium carbonate found in coral reefs.

The moulds were then shipped to the Maldives and filled with marine concrete before being submerged to a depth of seven metres, close to the resort’s existing coral nursery.

Fragments from the nursery were transplanted onto the 3D reef.

“While it is rewarding that our 3D reef is being recognised worldwide, it is important to remind ourselves of the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to safeguard our environment,” Summer Island Resort Manager Mari Shareef said.

“As part of our environment initiatives we have phased out imported drinking water, and placed a ban on single use plastic items, such as straws, bottles and bags. We are continuously looking at innovative ways to push ourselves to be better guardians of the environment.”

The Guinness World Records has published its record book for over 60 years, including world records on a variety of topics and events. Since its inception, the company has sold close to 150 million copies of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Summer Island Maldives, located on Ziyaaraifushi, is one of the first Resorts in the Maldives. The island is located in North Malé atoll and is a 40-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airpot.

In 1996, Kaimoo group acquired Ziyaaraifushi and rebranded it as Summer Island Village. In 2015, the island was rebuilt entirely and rebranded as Summer Island Maldives.

Summer Island Maldives was recently awarded the prestigious Holiday Check Gold Award for Being One of Maldives’ Most Popular Resorts. It was also awarded South Asia’s Leading Beach Resort and Maldives’ Leading Beach Resort at the 2017, 2018, and 2019 SATA awards.

A model of the Summer Island 3D is currently on display at New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in an exhibition entitled ‘Broken Nature’.

According to MoMA, the exhibition highlights the concept of “restorative design” and presents objects and concepts that offer diverse strategies in the effort to help humans repair their relationship to the environments that they share.

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