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10 Jan 2019

US$53m Aquarium of the Pacific expansion to open in May 2019
BY Luke Cloherty

Inspired by the shape of a blue whale, Pacific Visions was designed by San Francisco-based firm EHDD and is made up of 800 glass panels

Inspired by the shape of a blue whale, Pacific Visions was designed by San Francisco-based firm EHDD and is made up of 800 glass panels

The US$53m (€46m, £41.5m) expansion at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is almost complete, with the attraction set to open to the public on 24 May.

The expansion takes the shape of a 29,000sq ft (2,700sq m), two-storey structure called Pacific Visions, which will be the new focal point of the aquarium.

Pacific Visions will integrate the arts and sciences with a new theatre, exhibition space, art gallery and numerous live animal exhibits. It will also have interactive educational exhibits based on ecological improvements.

Other features include a virtual waterfall, a film on the history of life on Earth and the human impact on the planet and interactive displays that discuss food, water and energy issues.

"The aquarium is taking a bold, unconventional path with Pacific Visions," said Jerry Schubel, aquarium president and CEO.

"Rather than focusing on bigger exhibits and more spectacular animals, the new wing will turn the spotlight on the only species on our planet changing the future for all others — humans.

"Pacific Visions is the culmination of more than a decade of planning. It will challenge our visitors to examine the human impact on our ocean and planet and to engage with choices that will reduce that impact."

Inspired by the shape of a blue whale, Pacific Visions was designed by San Francisco-based firm EHDD and is made up of 800 glass panels that change colour as the sun and clouds move through the day.



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