After more than forty years of continuous operation, New England Aquarium’s “Giant Ocean Tank” (GOT) received a major update to facilitate memorable visits for decades to come. The original Aquarium, designed by Cambridge Seven Associates in 1969, has become the standard for modern aquarium immersion experiences, and the GOT is considered to be the feature around which that acclaimed experience is set. Its omni-directional vertical descent around a Caribbean coral reef is as close to a dive experience as possible without getting wet.
C7A’s design for the renovation includes a comprehensive refinement of the tank viewing and visitor route. New features include larger state-of–the art windows, new bridge access at the top and a completely new lighting design to highlight the new habitat and marine life. New presentation platforms have also been introduced at the top, allowing for demonstrations and more visitor engagement.
The renovation also includes new lighting and graphics at the perimeter of the tank as well as a new domed lighting effect to intensify the immersion. These features coordinate with the NEAq’s initiatives for the ‘Blue Planet Action Center” where visitors are encouraged to become active ocean conservation stewards.
While the GOT is 23 feet deep with only 200,000 gallons of saltwater, it continues to be the renewed heart of the Aquarium and a significant factor for why NEAq attracts more than a million visitors per year.