The Aquarium of the Pacific will open its Pacific Visions wing Friday, marking the venue’s first major expansion since its founding in 1998.
The 29,000-square-feet, two-story structure, designed by the San Francisco-based architecture and design firm EHDD, will house a 300-seat immersive theater, exhibition space, art gallery and several new live animal exhibits.
According to Aquarium officials, Pacific Visions programs will tackle such issues as climate change, extreme weather, sea level rise, water shortages and creating a food supply to feed an additional 2.5 billion people by farming the land and sea.
“The Aquarium is taking a bold, unconventional path with Pacific Visions. Rather than focusing on bigger exhibits and more spectacular animals, the new wing will turn the spotlight on the one species on our planet that is changing the future for all others — humans,” said aquarium President and CEO Jerry R. Schubel.
“Pacific Visions is the culmination of more than a decade of planning,” he said. “It will challenge our visitors to examine human impact on our ocean planet and engage in the choices that will reduce that impact.”
The Pacific Visions building has a facade with more than 800 individually shaped panels that respond to changing light and weather conditions with varying colors to mirror the effect of sunlight rippling on the ocean’s surface.
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