Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

Brooklyn, New York

As Associate Architect and Architect of Record, we worked closely with The Portico Group in Seattle on the new shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. This new construction is an initial component of New York City’s revitalization plan for the historic seaside Coney Island neighborhood and houses over 115 marine species.

One of the project’s many challenging features was the implementation of artist Ned Kahn’s ‘shimmer wall’ of more than 40,000 free swinging aluminum flappers that wrap the building on a tension cable structure and move gently with the wind. A continuously curving ramp along the building’s perimeter leads to an observation point on the roof and a view of the Atlantic Ocean not previously available to aquarium visitors.

The unique project brought together three architectural groups and 18 highly specialized consultants. We served as the on-site lead for construction administration, coordinating all work among the vast team. The project also required working closely with NYC’s Public Design Commission, which oversees all public structures and monuments on City-owned property. Because of extensive damage suffered by Coney Island during Hurricane Sandy (2012), the design is also focused on increased resiliency.

Client: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Project Prime: PG Architects, Landscape Architects and Exhibit Designers, P.C.

Architect, Exhibit Design, Landscape Architecture: The Portico Group, ESKW/Architects, and the WCS – Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department

Exhibit and Graphic Design: WCS – Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department

Shimmer Wall Artist: Ned Kahn Studios

Environmental Graphics: Doyle Partners

Civil: Leonard J. Strandberg and Associates

MEP: Kallen & Lemelson Consulting

Lighting Consultant: Focus Lighting

A/V – IT Consultant: Unified Field with Electrosonic and AKF

Structural: MLA Engineering

Awards:
Association of Zoos & Aquariums | Top Honors in Exhibits, 2019
NYCxDesign Awards | Architectural Installation/Pop-Up, 2019
NYC Public Design Commission | Excellence in Design, 2012