The largest aquarium to be built in northern Taiwan just broke ground today. Designed by Foster + Partners, the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology will be a major center for aquatic conservation and recreation in the port city of Keelung. The mixed-use development will also serve as a new social hub for the local community.

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The new aquarium will be built facing the Badouzi harbor to create a strong connection with the waterfront. The partially glazed building is also designed with environmentally friendly features in mind and will take into account Taiwan’s subtropical climate. In addition to the aquarium and research facilities, the building will also house shops, cafe, and restaurant.

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The museum’s focal point will be a new public plaza that will serve as the heart of the aquarium. Special displays dedicated to local marine life and study, such as the conservation of local species of squid, will be included in the aquarium to highlight Keelung’s natural wildlife. “Combining innovative tank design with the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of species, the experience for visitors will be unique—the project aims to set a new benchmark for aquariums worldwide,” write Foster + Partners.

+ Foster + Partners

Images via Foster + Partners