The rigid structure can withstand waves, tides and extreme weather events.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    After a few months marine plants and animals start colonising these new structures.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    A small shrimp inhabits the coral that’s grown on a modular artificial reef.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    Each branched module is built from concrete and coated with textured ceramic which provides the perfect surface for marine plants and animals to colonise. By clamping together various modules, like Lego, marine scientists and aquariums can use the MARS system to create endlessly customisable artificial reef habitats.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    Modular reefs can be customised to fit the shape of the sea floor beneath them. 

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    The eight arms of each unit maximises structural strength. 

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    Algae, coral and sponges build upon the surface of the artificial reef.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    Unique indentations give colonising organisms protection from predators.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    The ceramic surface mimics the calcareous coral skeletons that underlie coral reefs.

    Photo Credit: Alex Goad

    Alex Goad free dives to check on the installation of a small reef module.

    Photo Credit: Hugo Sands

Gallery: Designer coral reefs

By AG STAFF | March 16, 2015

Designer Alex Goad has developed a cheap, easy, Lego-style modular frame that speeds up the creation of artificial reefs. Called Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS), it can be used for recovery after a coral reef has been destroyed by storms, or for use by aquariums