A new $200 million aquarium that is funded by the Marcus Foundation has recently opened in Atlanta Georgia. The new aquarium is a gift from Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot. Mr. Marcus’s two goals for his dream project were to revitalize downtown Atlanta by bringing as many as 1.7 million visitors to the aquarium and also to create an environment that would break new ground and advance the state of the art in aquarium design.
Our Syska Hennessy Group team was selected for this important project and provided MEP/FP for the 550,000 square foot aquarium which includes reception space for 1200 diners, function room capacity for up to 15,000 people, a 4-D Theatre and more than 8,000,000 gallons of exhibits.
The Syska Hennessy Group Aquatic Life Support Team designed support systems for more than 100,000 aquatic animals from about 500 species collected throughout the world. Because the 6,000,000 gallon Open Ocean Tank contains such a high ratio of fish to water, Syska Engineers have designed three complete filtration systems in order to have a high level of water quality and clarity. The systems have the ability to completely recycle the water every ninety minutes.
For the aquarium exhibits, our client needed a highly technical aquarium designer as well as an engineering firm that could bring quality creative input. We researched the client's business needs that entailed going beyond the traditional aquarium venue to create an entertaining, interactive environment where entertainment of the visitor would be the first and foremost objective. The client required that creativity be pushed to the cutting edge. In order to meet the client's need for creativity and technical expertise, we combined our Cambridge technical staff with the expert entertainment staff in our California office and were able to present a quality team designed to exceed the client's expectations for exhibit design.
Syska's Cambridge team recently received Consulting Specifying Engineer's ARC Award Honorable Mention for this project.