SeaGlass‘s nautical theme takes inspiration from the original New York Aquarium, which opened at Castle Clinton in 1896, and was one of the first aquariums in the country until it closed in 1941. The ride also celebrates the New York Aquarium most of us are familiar with today at Coney Island, and the Battery Park Conservancy’s efforts to start a ferry linking The Battery to the aquarium.
Even though the carousel’s 30 iridescent glass fish figures, fabricated by George Tsypin Opera Factory, are not yet in place, the last panel on the nautilus-shaped roof was installed last week. When complete, the turntable mechanism and spiral shell structure will feature 60 SmartGlass panels that will turn from transparent to cobalt blue, symbolizing the feeling of traveling under the sea. SeaGlass will also simulate the sensation of swimming by using one large turntable and three interior turntables spinning in the opposite direction.
WXY also incorporated sustainable considerations such as LED and fiber-optic lighting into their design. The carousel will also employ an engineering method that maximizes natural air-flow in the summer balanced with effective shelter enclosure for the winter. According to one of their reps, a strategy for controlling daylight that may ultimately include large sections of smart glass is also in the works.