3XN and GERNER GERNER PLUS recently revealed their proposal for the design of a new aquarium for Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo. Titled “Poseidon’s Realm,” the proposed aquarium stretches across the landscape like an undulating “veil” that the architects describe as “elegant, simple and mysterious.” The green-roofed design received second place in an international design competition for the aquarium, with the winner yet to be announced.
Created in collaboration with aquarium specialists ATT, Poseidon’s Realm covers 65,000 square feet across four floors. The aquarium was envisioned to be built mainly of concrete and is embedded into the landscape to look like a natural extension of the earth. A wave-shaped green roof marks the entrance to the “softly undulating waterworld” where a rich diversity of environments differing in temperatures, sounds, lighting and spatial layouts welcome visitors.
A massive shark tanks forms the focal point of the building and its size would have necessitated a 21-inch-thick glass display in addition to extra floor reinforcement. The end of the aquarium is marked with a cafe and shop, as well as a path that leads to an outdoor terrace. A walkway also traces its way to the landscaped roof of the aquarium where an aviary for bearded vultures is located.
Images via 3XN and GERNER GERNER PLUS