danish practice 3XN and austrian firm GERNER GERNER PLUS have unveiled the design of an aquarium planned for vienna’s schönbrunn zoo. called ‘poseideon’s realm’, the aquarium is nestled into the landscape. its grass roof meets the ground as the contorting concrete envelopes the banner of windows, wrapping around the oval-shaped building. the grass roof leads down to a lake, where local fish and fauna frolic to complete the scene.

3XN GERNER GERNER PLUS
all images by 3XN

 

 

3XN and GERNER GERNER PLUS’ design is both simple and mysterious. the architects carefully lead the visitor through four floors and 6,000 square meters of underwater world theater. the first spaces are lofty with huge tanks filled with sea life. this sets the stage for the journey — looking up past the limits of the tank, the undulating ceiling references the fluttering waves of the sea. the surface is above you now as you head along the path which narrows into small bays in front of individual tanks.

3XN GERNER GERNER PLUS
glass tunnels allow visitors to immerse themselves within the underwater environment

 

 

now, the space refocuses the attention of the visitors, creating a greater sense of intimacy with the wildlife. you walk through jellyfish tunnels as colorful creatures surround you in the dark blue glow of the aquarium. finally, you reach the end and you find yourself in an airy, light-filled café and gift shop, you have returned back to the surface. furthermore, the jellyfish and shark tank rooms are available for events and functions — allowing you to get your underwater groove on.

3XN GERNER GERNER PLUS
there will be a total of 6,000 square meters of underwater world theater

3XN GERNER GERNER PLUS
the space refocuses the attention of the visitors

3XN GERNER GERNER PLUS
the aquarium shown as part of a wintery scene

3XN GERNER GERNER PLUS
site plan, showing the aquarium in context

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