Winning submission: Italian architect envisions sunken aquarium for NYC

Milan-based architect Lissoni Associati has won a design competition for a public aquarium and park in New York City.

Lissoni Associati’s "Aquatrium" puts the aquarium and marine centre into a "submerged island" at an underused area of public space at the East River and the Eleventh Street Basin in New York City.

The complex would consist of eight biomes representing the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans and four seas: the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Tasman and Red, each housing marine life taken from the water body it relates to.

A sloping beachfront would cover a parking area to form a "panoramic" public space, and a boardwalk would surround the basin and form a ring connecting the two waterfronts and encompassing the aquarium.

The polar oceans would be denoted by an "iceberg" at the center of an atrium.

The aquariums would have a sliding roof that would double as a planetarium, and which would protect the aquatic biomes underneath "as a shell protects the pearl".

Lissoni Associati said: "The main idea is to generate an environment whereby visitors feel that they are entering the water to discover the beauty of the marine life on display."

Second place was taken by Vers La Mer, by Brooklyn-based designer Dominik Sigg. This proposal offered an original solution to rising sea levels by way of a floating garden and structures anchored in the Anable basin, an inlet of the East River located in the Long Island City section of Queens.

The competition was organised by Arch Out Loud, which received 178 submissions from 40 countries.

It is unclear when and if the project will be built.

Images via Lissoni Associati

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News