Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

• June 30, 2010

Danish architectural practice Henning Larsen Architects‘ winning proposal for Batumi Aquarium is inspired by the characteristic pebbles of the Batumi beach – shaped by sea currents through millennia. The 2,000 m2 aquarium will replace the previous aquarium of the port and will be situated on the beach side of Rustaveli Str. adjacent to Batumi 6 May Park featuring a Dolphinarium and Zoo.

The building will become a landmark and an organic reference to all elements of the sea… … It captures the special atmosphere by the sea and thus becomes a tribute to the power of the sea!

Design Director and Partner at Henning Larsen Architects, Louis Becker

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD conceptual diagram 595x162 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Conceptual diagram, drawing courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD Conceptual diagram 2 595x156 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Conceptual diagram, drawing courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

+ Press release

Henning Larsen Architects has won first prize for its significant design concept for a new aquarium in the seaport of Batumi, the Republic of Georgia. The invited competition took place in spring 2010 and, in addition to Henning Larsen Architects, the German architecture company Drei Architekten and the two American companies PJA Architects and Pryor & Morrow Architects were in the running to win the competition.

The 2,000 m2 aquarium will replace the previous aquarium of the port and will be situated on the beach side of Rustaveli Str. adjacent to Batumi 6 May Park featuring a Dolphinarium and Zoo.

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD Diagram 595x184 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Sketch, drawing courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

Inspired by the characteristic pebbles of the Batumi beach, continually shaped by the wash of the waves through millennia, the building stands out as an iconic rock formation visible from both land and sea. The for-mation constitutes four self-supporting exhibition areas where each of the four stones represents a unique marine biotype – the Aegean Sea & the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Black Sea & the Red Sea and finally the more interactive exhibition.

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD Exterior view of entrance 595x334 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Exterior view of entrance, rendering courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

The building will become a landmark and an organic reference to all elements of the sea… … It captures the special atmosphere by the sea and thus becomes a tribute to the power of the sea!

Design Director and Partner at Henning Larsen Architects, Louis Becker

Batumi Aquarium will become a modern, cultural aquarium offering visi-tors an educational, entertaining and visually stimulating journey through the different seas. The central, multipurpose space in connection with the aquarium features a café and retail functions and its flexible layout makes it well-suited for presentations and workshops.

It has been important for us to create a design that relates explicitly to local characteristics of Batumi while at the same time reaching out to the world… … The aquarium interacts with its surroundings and becomes a manifestation of nature itself.

Anders Park, who is project manager for a number of Henning Larsen Architects’ projects in Georgia

Unfolding around the aquarium, a landscape of different sea archipelagos provides attractive opportunities for innovative outdoor research and learning as well as informal meetings along the beachfront.

Its significant expression inspired by nature will not only make Batumi Aquarium a spectacular new landmark in Georgia but also a state-of-the-art contribution to exploring life underneath the sea surface.

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD Night view from beach 595x333 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Night view from beach, rendering courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

+ Project description courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects’ proposal for Batumi Aquarium is inspired by the characteristic pebbles of the Batumi beach – shaped by sea currents through millennia. The building stands out as an iconic rock formation visible from both land and sea. The formation constitutes four self-supporting exhibition areas with each stone representing a unique marine biotype – the Aegean Sea & the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Black Sea & the Red Sea and finally the more interactive exhibition space for teaching and “edutainment”.

The new aquarium will replace the older, existing aquarium and will be situated on the beach side of Rustaveli Str. adjacent to Batumi 6 May Park featuring a Dolphinarium and a Zoo.

Batumi Aquarium will become a modern, cultural aquarium offering visitors an educational, entertaining and visually stimulating journey through the different seas. The central, multipurpose space in connection with the aquarium features a café and retail functions and its flexible layout makes it well-suited for presentations and workshops. Visitors can gather in the central space to play, eat, shop and relax before continuing through the exhibitions. An outdoor landscape of sea archipelagos surrounds the aquarium and provides the opportunity for innovative research and learning as well as informal meetings along the coast.

The City of Batumi

Batumi is the capital of the south-western province Adjara in Georgia. The city has approx. 120,000 citizens and is situated by the Black Sea, approx. 20 km from the border of Turkey. Batumi is a very active tourist city and commercial port. Unlike other cities in Georgia, the houses of Batumi are richly coloured and the city bears the mark of being a sailor city with a number of restaurants and cafés. Batumi also has wonderful beaches and many small hotels.

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD Level 00 595x623 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Ground floor plan, drawing courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Georgian Aquarium plusMOOD Cross section 595x254 Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Georgian Aquarium - Section, drawing courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

+ Project credits / data

Project: Batumi Aquarium
Location: Rustaveli Str., Batumi, The Republic of Georgia
Client: Association A.T.U.
Architect: Henning Larsen Architects
Gross floor area: 2,000 m2
Type of assignment: First prize in invited competition.
Project team: Louis Becker (design director, partner) Anders Park (project manager), Viggo Haremst (design responsible), Michael Sørensen and Jaewoo Chun.
Other participants: the German architecture company Drei Architekten as well as the two American companies PJA Architects and Pryor & Morrow Architects.

+ All images and drawings courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

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Category: Architecture, Culture

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