Designers at 3LHD transformed an abandoned campsite into a unique hillside aquarium in Karlovac, Croatia. Freshwater fish and plant life are featured at the aquarium to give the public a deeper understanding of the area’s ecosystems. The educational center and its nearby shops are located both alongside and underneath the natural hillside, covered in green grass as a sign of unity with the surrounding habitat.
The Karlovac aquarium sits alongside the river Korana, where a diverse array of wildlife flourishes. 3LHD derived inspiration for the center’s design from the revered “Karlovac star”, upon which many buildings and city structures are based. Visitors can stroll through the open center of the attraction to reach the gift shop, reading room, and cafe bar, which is accessible by strategically placed, multidirectional walkways.
Once guests walk inside, they are greeted by a symbolic river exhibit that displays the full biodiversity of the area. Surface waters give way to deeper aquariums on the lower level, where species no longer flourishing in the area can be found. On the other side of the tunnel, marshlands are displayed with lilies and rushes, which eventually give way to a climactic collection of waterfalls. The entire center is an experience unlike any other aquarium – an educational story told from beginning to end.
The Karlovac aquarium is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Scientific research facilities and fish acclimatization spaces can be found on site, proving the center’s dedication to preserving the natural state of the surrounding ecosystems.
Images via 3LHD