October 17, 2018
Press Releases & News

Final Piece of Glass Installed on Aquarium of the Pacific’s New Pacific Visions Wing

Long Beach, CA - Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia joined Clark Construction and Aquarium of the Pacific officials to celebrate the installation of the final panel of external glass on the Aquarium of the Pacific’s new Pacific Visions wing today. The Aquarium’s largest addition since opening its doors in 1998, the Pacific Visions wing will be the focal point of the aquarium, providing facilities that will integrate the arts and sciences while offering visitors innovative ways to understand our connections to Earth, the World Ocean, and contemporary scientific research.

The 29,000 square foot Pacific Visions is designed as a biomorphic structure that evokes the size, depth, variability, luminosity, and biological diversity of the Pacific Ocean. Complementing the Aquarium’s existing building, the structure has a façade that responds throughout the day to changing light and weather conditions with varying colors to mirror the effect of sunlight rippling on the ocean’s surface. The 839 light diffusing glass panels that make up the façade are all individually sized to accommodate the curves and angles of the building’s form. 

Working with Clark Construction, architecture and design firm EHDD, and engineering firm Buro Happold, Pulp Studios fabricated the 839 glass panels. The glass cladding system and secondary support steel was designed, fabricated, and installed by Woodbridge Glass and Sentech Architectural Systems.  During today’s event, Woodbridge Glass lifted the final exterior panel by hand from boom lifts and secured it in place by hanging the carrier frame on four brackets attached to the secondary support steel and engaging a seismic clip. Installation of the panels began in July 2018.

“Over its 20-year history, the Aquarium of the Pacific has become a leader in the Long Beach community and beyond through its commitment to educating the public about the ocean and how we, as humans, impact our world,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia during the event.

The two-story, 300-seat Honda Pacific Visions Theater will be the centerpiece of the new wing and will include a 130-foot-wide by 32-foot-tall screen, curved in a 180-degree arc. The Theater will also feature a tilting, 30-foot-diameter floor projection disc to immerse visitors in a virtual ocean environment. In addition to the new state-of-the-art theater, the wing will house expanded special exhibitions, art galleries, and additional space for live animal exhibits.

“With the new expansion, the Aquarium will continue its quest to meet its goal of being the aquarium of the future—a combination of museum, science center, art gallery, performing arts space, and a think tank to explore solutions to some of the world’s biggest environmental issues,” said Dr. Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific President & CEO.

Pacific Visions is scheduled to open in spring 2019.

For more information about the project, visit http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/pacificvisions