The Blue Planet, designed by Danish 3XN Architects, is Europe’s largest and most significant aquarium with an outstanding location on the shores of Øresund, near Copenhagen.
The Blue Planet is one of Denmark’s five most prominent tourist attractions. At the tourism conference “A New Way to Grow” 2012, the Blue Planet was chosen as Denmark’s best lighthouse project within experience economy, because of its potential for growth, influence on regional development, innovation, realisation as well as its uniqueness and ‘reason to go’.
The circular foyer is the central point of navigation in the aquarium. Here visitors choose which river, lake or ocean to explore. By enabling multiple routes, the risk of queues in front of individual aquariums is reduced. Each exhibition has its own theme and entrance from the foyer, where sound and images are used to introduce the atmosphere of the different exhibition areas. The restaurant enjoys a magnificent view of the sea, which begins just a few metres away. The ceiling is developed through a flexible PVC membrane which reflects lights with a warm look.
Jesper Horsted, curator of Denmark’s Aquarium, had in the mid-90s, already outlined the first ideas on how a totally new and modern aquarium should be designed. The old building needed a total renovation which would be costly without even providing guests with a significantly better experience. A much-needed enlargement was neither possible at the site nor economically feasible with regard to the overall improvement of the attraction of the aquarium.
What was needed was a new location and new framings to give coming generations of visitors new and outstanding adventures. Inspired by visits to the world’s most exciting aquariums and spiced up with ideas of his own, Jesper Horsted formulated his wishes for the design of a totally new Danish Aquarium. Principles, which were later to become fundamental for the international competition of The Blue Planet.
Now, Denmark’s Aquarium is again at the international forefront, with world class architecture, thousands of creatures from all over the world and advanced presentation technologies.
Architects: 3XN Architects, Copenhagen, Denmark
Location: Kastrup, Denmark
Technical info: PVC Barrisol membrane
Picture credits: Adam Mõrk