The whirlpool-shaped Blue Planet aquarium by Danish studio 3XN has opened to the public in Copenhagen.
The building comprises a series of curved wings, designed to mimic the shapes generated by swirling water, and is clad in shimmering aluminium shingles that are reminiscent of fish scales.
Containing around 7 million litres of water, the Blue Planet is the largest aquarium in Europe and contains a total of 53 aquariums and displays, housing over 450 different species of fish and creatures that can be found in rivers, lakes and oceans.
Exhibitions are divided up between the curved wings and there is no fixed route around the building, which 3XN hopes will reduce queues for the most popular aquariums.
The main entrance leads into a circular foyer at the heart of the building, where visitors can look up through a glass ceiling into a pool directly overhead.
“Our wish was to bring our visitors all the way down to the world of the fish,” said 3XN partner Kim Herforth Nielsen. “The design of The Blue Planet is based on the story about water and life under the sea. We visualise the construction as a whirlpool which draws visitors into the depths to the fascinating experiences waiting among fish and sea animals from all over the world.”
Located on the waterfront near the city’s airport, the aquarium is expected to attract 700,000 visitors a year.
3XN won a competition to design the Blue Planet in 2008. We firstrevealed images of the building back in November, when it was nearing completion.
Other recent projects by 3XN include the Plassen Cultural Centre in Norway and an experimental food laboratory at Copenhagen restaurant Noma. See more architecture by 3XN.
Photography is by Adam Mørk.
Source : Dezeen