The Den Blå Planet Aquarium (The Blue Planet) design is the outcome of an intensive international design contest to replace the existing Danish Aquarium built in 1937.
The trust set up to build Denmark’s national aquarium invited architects to design a striking building completely matching its unique location near the Øresund Sound in Copenhagen’s Tårnby Municipality, with views of the sound and also to catch the sun in public outdoor areas. Copenhagen architects 3XN won the contest for the DK400 million aquarium with the design inspired by a ‘Maelstrom’-like theme of a swirling cyclonic centre.
The Australian company Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT), has been contracted to provide all aquarium specialist design and construction services for the 9000-metre- square project, with Aquatic Environmental Systems (AES) and Crossley Architects Pty Ltd providing the necessary design and documentation.
The Blue Planet Building Foundation (Realdania, Knud Hǿjgaards Fond and Tårnby Kommune) stipulated the design was to facilitate a greater marine experience for an estimated 700,000 visitors a year.
A further stipulation was to improve teaching and research facilities and continue to be able to support Denmark Aquarium’s existing environmental profile.
Crossley Architects provided specialist architectural advice to the project architects 3XN with respect to aquarium design for visitor movement, aquarium viewing options, aquarium structure and life support integration. AAT and Crossley Architects’ responsibility was to design and integrate state of the art life support systems into the existing building envelope. AAT and Crossley architects prepared all the designs in 3D CAD software for ease of co-ordination with the 3XN and the consultancy team. All documentation for the project was prepared in 3D. This included the large and small aquariums, acrylic documentation for viewing panels, tunnels design, and installation of rockwork, scenery and specialist waterproofing.
The design competition was initiated in 2007 as the first stage of a process and construction was completed in March 2013.
Images courtesy of 3XN Architects and Den Blå Planet.