National Aquarium - Pier 3 Expansion
Baltimore, MD

The National Aquarium in Baltimore has undergone a large expansion, which required a range of water treatment approaches in order to effectively support the new aquatic environments. For this project the facility, which has historically been on the forefront of Life Support technology, required systems that would continue this tradition and provide unsurpassed water quality and clarity. Syska Hennessy Group was chosen to provide this design based on our track record of creating high performance system designs.

The expansion is a $60 million, 65,000 square foot addition to the existing aquarium, at Pier 3 in Baltimore, Maryland. New exhibits include aquatic Australian habitat tanks consisting of a variety of fishes, crocodiles, monitors and pythons; as well as an approximately 30,000-gallon Maryland Fishes exhibit. Visitors are also treated to a 30-foot high waterfall upon entering the facility that spills over into the Maryland Fishes tank on the first level.

Syska Hennessy Group has played an integral role in the design integration of this project. Our response to several challenges that arose displayed the unique combination of technical know-how and client-oriented service that Syska offers. We provided effective communication, intelligent design decisions, and adaptive solutions to ensure the project’s success. This is demonstrated by the fact that the slab elevation of the building’s floors is governed by the existing structure, putting limits on the design and location of much of the life support equipment. Additional location considerations, namely those related to making the building profitable, meant that equipment location options were both limited and dense. Multiple options were considered until the most effective and convenient solutions were found for our client.

Furthermore, each new exhibit required a system to monitor and regulate the very complex life support processes. Syska Hennessy Group has provided state-of-the-art instrumentation and controls design for the Pier 3 Expansion building. This industrial-type controls system is integrated with the overall building controls system for the Pier 3 Expansion and is designed to support a future switchover of the existing life support system controls at the aquarium.