Last month our office toured the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit at the New York Aquarium. Having served as Associate Architect and Architect of Record on this dynamic and highly technical project, we were very excited and proud to show-and-tell the exhibit with the entire office. See our photos below, and head to Coney Island while the weather is still nice and check it out for yourself.
We were excited to see that today’s NYTimes includes an article on the rebuilding of the New York Aquarium post-Sandy, and features the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! building currently under construction.
As Architects of Record for the new building, we’ve blogged about this project’s development more than once, and it’s great to see it garnering some media attention.
While the sharks will of course be the star of the show, the exhibit will also showcase scenes of realistic shipwrecks, as well as immersive and interactive exhibits displaying a myriad of aquatic life. On the exterior, visitors will appreciate exhibits of a different sort, strolling along the curving ramp promenade from within the park up to the roof deck – offering views above adjacent exhibits, the Coney Island Boardwalk, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. The project is expected to open to the public in 2018.
We gathered alongside dozens of workers from various trades for words of gratitude and encouragement from Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium, and Sue Chin, WCS Vice President of Planning and Design and Chief Architect. We then turned our attention to the highest point of the new building (over the sea of hard hats) for the raising of the American flag, symbolizing the ‘topping out’ of the project. Everyone gladly dove in to the catered lunch, posed for press photos, mingled, and enjoyed the summer weather and astounding view.
The concrete structure is rapidly taking form both inside and out, and those of us who do not attend weekly meetings enjoyed a tour through the burgeoning exhibition space with Ildar Istarki, project engineer with Turner Construction Company. ESKW/A architectural team members Cary, Michael, Fialka, Carlos, and Martin are palpably excited to see their work become a reality – and next summer is sure to bring even more excitement to Ocean Wonders: Sharks! as the interior is fleshed out and the custom acrylic tanks that hold a combined 500,000 gallons of salt water become home to sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, and innumerable schools of fish.