July 04 2012

Copenhagen, Denmark’s New Aquarium: Sneak-Preview From The Blue Planet Building Site

“A sculpture at the coast unites the natural elements of water, air, and earth.” Kim Herforth Nielsen, 3XN

Copenhagen Denmark Blue Planet Aquarium


Copenhagen Denmark Blue Planet Aquarium

On site

The South-East coast of Zealand, Denmark offers a leisure time oasis as the motor way streams out of the urban area. Sandy beach patches, with small yacht ports and bike tracks, stretch across undulating green fields. Before the road reaches Kastrup airport, a construction site changes the contours of the waterfront horizon. The proximity of the airport puts the project in a beneficial light: an advertisement within the city’s panorama, or a future landmark. The plot covers a generous area of 27,000 sq m. The footprint of the uprising structure spreads on approx. 9,000 sq m.

The Blue Planet project was thoughtfully shaped to bring the public closer to a real aquatic experience, inside-out. A visit to the construction site proves that its design focuses on all-senses, although it is currently at a stage of raw concrete galleries. Swirling walls guide the visitors to the heart of a gigantic whirlpool where natural light is piercing in through the rounded ceiling. The absence of windows at the eye level deepens the underwater effect. The layout separates the area into various linked environments.  A specific echo flows between the tall-ceiling “caves.”  Contrasting lighted spaces of varied dimensions lead towards an immense room, bathed in natural light as it has a striking 180° sea-view. The landscape design will further compliment the looks of the building, reflecting it in water pools.

The building materials are based upon simplicity, flexibility, and quality; all seemingly essential to design lines, climate, and a smooth aging process.  Corrosion-prone, poorly-insulated, or weather proof-less would have been far too expensive in the long-run. A heavy steel structure supports the main loads, helped by prefab, and on-site cast concrete walls. The skeleton is tightly wrapped in Rockwool and clad, with Rheinzink plates, like a fish skin texture.

Designing and running a complex that incorporates 70 tanks of 3 million litters of water, depending 24/7 on machines, could not be autonomous. Yet, a seawater cooling system will cut 80% of the cooling energy use by implementing the most effective insulating and glazing choices. Sustainable solutions, like connecting to the city`s off-shore wind power plant, may also be implemented.

The aquarium opens its gates next spring.

Architect: 3XN
Engineering and project manager: Moe & Brødsgaard & COWI
Time frame: Started in autumn 2010; final tile to be laid in spring 2013.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Denisa Petrus

Denisa Petrus, following a Constructing Architect Bachelors Degree at VIA University, in Denmark, recently graduated after completing her final project at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. Her international educational background and practice as project architect in Dublin helped her gain a expanded perspective over the streamlining process from design to construction. She aims to further develop her commitment to the sustainability paradigm by starting a Master in Sustainable Architecture degree in the near future. Currently settled in Copenhagen, Denmark, a genuinely environmentally-conscious city, Denisa is constantly inspired by its` vitality and pragmatic approach. Her blogs sketch and summarize the Scandinavian urban experience, a symbiosis between contexts and behavior, esthetics and technology.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 at 11:16 pm and is filed under Architecture, Blogging Team, Community/Economic Development, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Technology, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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