All right, nobody panic: regardless of the picture you see here, the Earth is not flat, nor is it a giant cube. But the Water Cube, a cube-shaped, water-filled representation of Earth’s oceans and continents designed by MVRDV that will be used during the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, Korea, certainly is.

It might seem premature to plan ahead for something roughly two years away, but the nature of the project is so ambitious, copious planning on MVRDV’s part could not be avoided. Noticed by Inhabitat, the Water Cube’s intent is to showcase the beauty of the oceans, a feat that will be accomplished by riddling its structure with water-filled basins. “Arranged like a world map,” Inhabitat explains, “different basins represent the world’s oceans and continents, with the polar seas on the top and bottom and the tropical seas in the middle.” The inner hollow will be set aglow, basking the cube’s interior in wavy shimmering, wavering blue luminescence that will give visitors the impression of sauntering through an aquarium.

water cube
Image via Inhabitat

Seawater will be continually pumped throughout the basins to sustain water ecology and circulation. Conveniently, the glass basins serve as a temperature buffer from outside conditions, which is emblematic of the ocean’s role as temperature moderator for our entire planet. What’s to become of the Cube when the expo has ended? Inhabitat suggests a number of uses, concert hall, theater, or extravagant office building among them.

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