Nonprofit group Great Barrier Reef Legacy has revealed its vision for a ‘coral ark’ to be built in Port Douglas.
The Living Coral Biobank would preserve the genetic biodiversity of hard coral species by collecting and maintaining living samples of some 800 species worldwide.
The complex has been designed by Australian firm Contreras Earl Architecture, along with leading engineering and sustainability consultants Arup and Werner Sobek.
“Having designed and delivered a number of key public buildings in the region, our knowledge of the site and the climatic conditions – the tropical heat, cyclones and storm surges – have helped influence the resilience features of the facility,” Arup associate principal Robert Donnan said.
The $70 million Port Douglas facility is hoped to be built and housing coral within five years.
“The Living Coral Biobank is the only project that can secure the living biodiversity of the world’s coral species immediately,” Living Coral Biobank project director and managing director of Great Barrier Reef Legacy Dr Dean Miller said.
“To ensure this priceless living collection is held in perpetuity for generations to come we need the world’s most advanced facility that also promises to use only renewable energy sources and function with optimum efficiency, while also creating an unforgettable visitor experience – and that’s exactly what this design delivers.”