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Cairns Aquarium construction to begin in November

Cairns Aquarium construction to begin in November
June 18, 2014

With the developers of the Cairns Aquarium aiming to begin construction work in November, the design phase of the new $50 million attraction is currently under way.

Located in the centre of Cairns, the 7,500 metre2 facility will be located in a two storey building and is expected to open in for July 2016. The design is being undertaken by Peddle Thorp Architects and Ellik & Partners Architects.

Aquarium Director Andrew Preston told the Cairns Post that the design will include “the aquarium’s architectural plans, sections, and elevations will be refined to include typical construction details, three-dimensional CAD sketches, the visitor narrative journey, exhibit schematics, final materials selection, and plant and equipment layouts.

“We are challenging our design team to develop dynamic new approaches in aquarium exhibit design so that this aquarium provides an entirely new experience for our visitors.

“This will be achieved with lifelike journeys through realistic environments and new shapes and styles of acrylic aquarium viewing structures which have never been seen before.”

Preston said the building’s design consisted of a series of overlapping plates symbolising the gills of a fish, adding “the main architectural gesture is the 11 metres high angled-forward blue glass atrium entrance that provides a glimpse into the aquatic worlds within.

“Reflection pools of water around the front of the building are symbolic of temporary waterways created during the seasonal tropical wet season."

More than $3 million has been spent on the project with the construction tender being released in October.

The two-level building will include 25 metres of acrylic underwater viewing tunnels through a two million litre Great Barrier Reef Oceanarium, featuring Australia’s only school of scalloped hammerhead sharks.

Peddle Thorp designed the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre, which at the time of its opening, featured the world’s largest oceanarium with the largest viewing panels ever made.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the Cairns Aquarium demonstrated “real investor confidence and provided encouragement that a period of growth and investment is returning to Cairns.”


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