aquariums and marine research centers
the first known aquarists were sumerians who kept fishes in artificial ponds approximately 4500 years ago.
this collection of aquariums and marine research centers illustrate how architects have
incorporated the idea of water when designing their structures
california green academy of sciences
image © tim griffith
having just opened in september 2008 the california green academy of sciences took approximately 8 years to build.
designed by italian architect renzo piano the academy is a sustainable building that consists of an aquarium,
planetarium, rainforest and a research center. one of the main features of the building is its 2.5 acre
living green roof. looking like small humps protruding from the surface each are skylights that provide natural
light and ventilation for the exhibit space. extending beyond the building walls into a glass canopy the roof
provides shade, protection from the rain and generates energy through more than 55 000 photo voltaic cells
in the glass.
mora river aquarium, portugal
photo © joao morgado
on the banks of the mora river in the alentejo region of portugal sits the mora river aquarium.
designed by promontorio architecture the building is based on the region's traditional white washed barns.
constructed with evenly spaced out trusses the building completed in 2006 consists of a complex water system
that allows all of the water to be reused. spanning 2000 sqm the mora river aquarium includes more than
500 live specimens.
the national aquarium baltimore, usa
t he national aquarium baltimore was designed by american firm cambridge seven associates and opened in 2005.
occupying a prominent pier in the city's inner harbor it consists of two buildings joined by a single
walkway. the main gallery located in the larger of the two buildings consists of a series of spiralling
floors that overlook a pool of sharks, sting rays and turtles. in the main entrance of the aquarium is
a 35 foot tall waterfall that was based on a real one from maryland state park. it contains collection
of approximately 16 500 species.
oceanografic center, valencia, spain
spanish architect santiago calatrava designed l' oceanografic in valencia, spain.
the building was completed in 2004.
marine and freshwater resource institute, queenscliff victoria, australia
located on the edge of swan bay, victoria, australia is the marine and freshwater institute. barely visible from
above the building is less than a quarter of a kilometer wide. the centre consists of offices, conference rooms
and a discovery centre. the wave like roof is covered with grass to create a thermal mass effect keeping the
building warm in winter and cool in summer. designed by australian firm lyon architects it was built in 2004.
aquadom, berlin, germany
in the lobby of the radisson sas hotel, berlin, germany is the aquadom. standing at 25 meters tall and measuring
approximately 11 meters in diameter it consists of an elevator in the center. built in 2003 by american reynolds
polymer technology it is the world's largest cylindrical aquarium. the tank is filled with about 900 000 litres
of seawater and contains 2600 fish.
'the deep' aquarium, hulll. UK
opened in march 2002 was the deep aquarium, situated at sammy’s point of the river hull, england.
the structure designed by sir terry farrell architects is one which is futuristic. part of the building is built underwater
and it is also called a submarium. it contains 2.5 million litres of water and 87 tonnes of salt.
oceanário, lisbon, portugal
built in 1996 by cambridge seven associates the oceanario de lisboa is built in the pier of an internal sea.
consisting of three levels the building is comprised of stone piers, steel masts and cables which support
glass roof sheets. divided into four tanks the aquarium displays the eco systems of the pacific, atlantic, indian
and antartic oceans. It houses over 16 000 plants and animal species.
florida aquarium, usa
shaped like a
shell is the roof of the florida aquarium. designed by hok architects the glass roof took about
two and a half years to build. the three storey structure houses 10 000 plant and animal species and was
opened in 1995.
genova aquarium, italy
photo © shunji courtesy renzo piano
as part of the genoa harbor redevelopment project italian architect renzo piano designed an aquarium.
the building’s roof resembles a continuous wave and is attached with a series of cables that hang from
masts surrounding the aquarium. located on the quay of port antico it consists of seven tanks and contains
approximately 6000 sea animals. the aquarium was completed in 1992.
lofotakvariet aquarium, norway
located in the far north of norway is the lofotakvariet aquarium. designed by blue streak architects
aquarium also consists of a waterfall.
dubai mall aquarium, dubai, united arab emirates
on the 30th of october, 2008 the world's largest aquarium will open. located inside the burj dubai mall
it will consists of a three storey high 10 million litre tank. the aquarium will also feature a 270 degree acrylic
walk through tunnel to allow visitors to enjoy marine life whilst they shop.
coney island redesign, USA
WRT architects designed an aquarium that resembles a whales profile.
wxy architecture with west 8 design aimed to have features which interacted with visitors and casual passers by.
some of their main ideas were a ‘living’ dune landscape, coral inspired retaining wall and a 60 ft high jellyfish pavilion.
the design proposal by smith-miller + hawkinson architects for the new new york aquarium takes inspiration
from the animals iside and the environment outside. the aquarium is to be located on coney island and in
smith-miller + hawkinson proposal, has two parts ‘wavefence’, the aquarium’s surrounding wall and ‘sandscape’,
an artificial dune concealing a parking lot below. ‘wavefence’ is based on beach fencing and will have a vertical
garden and also special photoluminescent paint which wills provide energy free signage. the ‘sandscape’
will be made from a combination of sand and recycled material and be complemented by the new boardwalk
connecting the aquarium to the beach and transportation hubs.
the sea orbiter is a floating research lab designed by french architect jacques rougerie. the fin shaped vessel
is 51meters high and has a maximum capacity of 18 people. the structures hull will attract marine life,
allowing scientists to study the creatures.
silvertown quays UK
a new aquarium will be built in silvertown, london, england. spanning over 15 500 square meters the building
will consist of four exhibition areas that focus on the marine areas of the british isles, atlantic ocean, indo- pacific
and amazon. designed by farrell architects the aquarium will feature a vase like tank on the roof of the building.
hafencity hamburg, germany
OMA architects have released designs for a new science center to be built in hamburg -hafencity, germany.
spanning 23000m2 the science centre will be constructed of ten modular blocks that connect to form a ring
shaped building. it will consist of an aquarium, offices and laboratories. approximately 8 500 meters of the
building will be underground.
lilypad floating city, dubai, united arab emirates
lilypad designed by vincent callebaut architects is a concept for a floating city in dubai. its shape is inspired
whirpool aquarium, copenhagen, denmark
based-on the sea's 'whirl streams' and shoals of fish, ‘whirlpool’ is the name of 3xns architects proposal an
aquarium in copenhagen. the round centre hall of the building and the different parts are ‘whirled’ in the
slightly curved sequence of rooms. the first and longest of the whirlpool’s arms follow the shape
of the landscape and the building, moving into the land. the blue planet building site is at the island of amager,
right at the coast of øresund, north of kastrup havn, the complex is expected to open in 2013.
songjiang hotel, shanghai china