In most kelp, the thallus (or body) consists of flat or leaf-like structures known as the ‘Blades’.

Blades originate from elongated stem-like structures, called the ‘Stipes’. 

The holdfast, a root-like structure, anchors the kelp to the substrate of the ocean. 

Gas-filled bladders (pneumatocysts) form at the base of blades to hold the kelp blades close to the surface.

A very clever act of nature on many levels.

If you dive in the waters of the Chatham islands for abalone, cod or crayfish, the thallus is a great hiding place from great white sharks.

This family decided to build their home on the Chatham Islands far from the thallus, but close to the stipes.


NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2023 - Housing