Sharks! in the Press

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.

Read the article here.


Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Gets Topped Out

Two weeks ago, a number of us from ESKW/A took the opportunity to visit the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! construction site at the Wildlife Conservation Society‘s New York Aquarium to celebrate the official topping out of the new building.

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.

The event was covered by the New York Daily News and noted in the Brooklyn Eagle.  A video of the ceremony can be seen on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s YouTube channel.

The NY Aquarium, post Hurricane Sandy

When Hurricane Sandy buffeted the East Coast last week, one of the areas hardest hit was Coney Island on New York’s coastline. The New York Aquarium, located just off the boardwalk, braved the storm but has sustained serious damages, and is now closed to the public indefinitely. You can read more here. While Sandy’s cost to the neighborhood’s homes and people is unimaginable, also affected were its aquatic inhabitants.

The Wildlife Conservation Society – with whom ESKW/A has a decade-long relationship – is collecting donations to rebuild. Please consider donating here.

Here are a few more organizations that are facilitating relief efforts:

American Red Cross

Rockaway Relief

Volunteer Match

Time Out New York

Shipwreck Exhibit at the New York Aquarium

By Cary Trochesset and Claire Webb

A major goal of the proposed new shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island is to enrich the public’s knowledge of the vast marine life that thrives just off the coast of New York. A recent video by the New York Times highlights how the Wildlife Conservation Society, the owner-operator for the Aquarium, is conducting underwater research of local shipwrecks to best portray this hidden world. The New York Waters exhibit will showcase a typical New York shipwreck as well as the unique local marine species like sharks, anemones, and mussels that are attracted to it. The exhibit will mimic the researcher’s experience of diving at the wreck for Aquarium visitors.

Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects is the Associate Architect for Ocean Wonders: Sharks! The animation of the 3D model featured in the video was done by The Portico Group, the lead Project Architect. For a full list of consultants or more information about this project, please email Cary at

Rendering of the New York Aquarium courtesy of The Portico Group