Designing The National Marine Aquarium

National Marine Aquarium

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Plymouth has been home to an aquarium since 1888. Initially housed at the Marine Biological Association, a new and much larger aquarium was built at the current site near the Barbican in 1997.

As the largest aquarium in the UK, the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) usually welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year.

Architectural firm LHC was first commissioned to design the complex building in 1995. Phase 1 opened in 1998 and in 2018 the National Marine Aquarium celebrated its 20th birthday. We are looking back at Phase 2 of the project which involved the creation of the ‘Mediterranean Tank’ which is now home to the NMA’s resident Green Turtle, Friday.

Have a look below to see some of LHC Director, John Baulch’s, original designs, and LCH architectural illustrator, Phil Watts’ sketches.

From sketch…
To model…
…to construction

You can look at even more architectural images on LHC’s website and find out more about the NMA here.

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