renzo piano’s new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 

 

renzo piano has designed a new addition to the seaside acquario di genova. dubbed the ‘cetaceans pavilion,’ the 94 meter long  and 28 meter wide concrete structure is dedicated to the study and display of dolphins, whales and porpoises complete with a series of open-air tanks viewable from layered upper level decks. sporting an overall deceptively low profile, the seven level building is a feat of architectural aquatic engineering, rising just three meters above sea level despite its full seven storey elevation. constructed partially off-site, all 26,000 tons of the architecture were dramatically tugged to the antique port and fully assembled in the voltri shipyard. the space brings the grand total exhibition area of the aquarium to 27,000 square meters and has made for the additional showcase of etruscan and roman artifacts unearthed from the seabed. the objects further flesh out the ancient history of genoan commercial activity.

 

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
transfer from voltri to the old port of genoa
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 

 

sited between the existing building and the grande nave blu, the new pavilion maintained an overall architectonic goal of visual lightness manifested in part by a seemingly low band of glazing that characterizes the southern facade. the orthogonal glass ribbon is also offset to fit a walkaway framed by two low staff towers connected to the existing aquarium and all composed so as to maintain an unencumbered genoan skyline. aside from the open tanks, the facility contains a main exhibition hall, nursery chamber and medical tank– all filled with purified sea water– which can accommodate up to 10 bottlenose dolphins. circulation and the succession of tanks are designed to allow visitors a new type of interaction wight he dolphins– from above with the promenade and open volumes as well as via a glass tunnel that runs throughout he 520 square meter main chamber. additionally, a 24 meter-long glass wall can be opened to allow aquarium-goers to listen to the dolphin’s communicative sounds. the building has also been fitted with platforms for patrons with disabilities and a smartphone app. the cetaceans pavilion is now open to visitors and will bolster the 24 hour usage of porto antico.

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
in section, the building maintains a deceptively low profile
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
the cetaceans pavilion was towed by tug boat from voltri to the east end of the port taking 8-9 hours for transfer
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
aerial view of the pavilion arriving at its final destination
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
new cetaceans pavilion in genoa’s harbour
photo by stefano goldberg / publifoto
image © RPBW

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
photo by stefano goldberg / publifoto
image © RPBW

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 

renzo piano's new cetaceans pavilion arrives in genoa
architect renzo piano walking through one of the half tunnels
photo by merlo fotografia
image courtesy of costa edutainment

 

 


the construction of renzo piano’s padiglione cetacei
video courtesy of acquario village