Aquariums are always good fun for families, but the New Aquarium slated for the outskirts of Oslo is sure to bring in architecture and design lovers too. London studio Haptic Architects unveiled renderings for a curvaceous aquarium modeled on local “svaberg” rock formations that hugs the waterfront and offers new public spaces, including an accessible roof. Planned for the former site of the Oslo airport in Bærum, the aquarium is backed by developer Selvaag and it will house 7 million liters of water – making it the biggest of its kind in northern Europe.
The 10,000-square-meter New Aquarium will form part of a waterfront redevelopment masterplan, designed by Rodeo Architects, that includes boat and surfing clubs, a new urban beach, restaurants and bars, retail, offices, a seaplane terminal, and a new metro link to the city center. The sculptural aquarium is envisioned as two gently sloping rocks that lift up at the waterfront edge to reveal full-height glazing that frames views of the water. Visitors will be able to climb and walk across one of the undulating roofs.
“I have always loved the Norwegian ‘svaberg’ rocks,” said Haptic Architects’ Tomas Stokke of the local rock formations. “They are beautiful, sculptural objects, that form natural pockets, ponds and seating areas, gently heated by the sun. We wanted to recreate the qualities of this, in creating an aquarium with a distinct Norwegian quality.” Construction on the New Aquarium is expected to begin in 2020 and open in 2023.
Images via MIR