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Batumi Aquarium by Henning Larsen Architects

Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects have won a competition to design an aquarium in Batumi, Georgia, resembling a cluster of pebbles.

Called Batumi Aquarium, the design of the building is inspired by characteristic pebbles found on Batumi beach and will provide views of the beach and the Black sea.

The building will be made of four pebble-shaped structures, each housing an exhibition space representing a unique marine biotype - the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the Indian ocean, the Black and Red seas and an interactive exhibition.

The four areas will be connected by a central space, which will include a café, auditorium and retail areas.

Here's some more information from the architects:

Henning Larsen Architects wins Georgian Aquarium

Batumi Aquarium is inspired by the characteristic pebbles of the Batumi beach – the residue of dynamic seas continually shaping the shorefront throughout millennia.

The building will be situated in the Georgian port of Batumi and will stand out as an iconic rock formation – visible from both land and sea.

The formation 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.

The four dispersed aquarium exhibitions are connected by a central, multipurpose space including café, auditorium and retail functions with views of the black sea and Batumi beach as scenic backdrop.

Visitors gather in the central space to convene, play, eat, shop and relax before continuing their adventures through the exhibitions. Batumi Aquarium will become a modern, cultural aquarium offering visitors an educational, entertaining and visually stimulating journey through the different seas.

Unfolding around the aquarium, a landscape of different sea archipelagos provides attractive opportunities for innovative outdoor research and learning, public space and meeting places along the beach.

The building's 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.

Project Facts

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. Other participants were the German architecture company Drei Architekten as well as the two American companies PJA Architects and Pryor & Morrow Architects.

The project team from Henning Larsen Architects includes Louis Becker (design director, partner) Anders Park (project manager), Viggo Haremst (design responsible), Michael Sørensen and Jaewoo Chun.

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