Consulting Engineers: Moe & Brødsgaard
Landscape: HJ Landskab
Exhibition: Kvorning design & kommunikation
The Blue Planet is Europe’s largest and most significant aquarium with an outstanding location on the shores of Øresund, only eight kilometres from the Copenhagen City Hall Square. Moreover, the aquarium in Taarnby Municipality is ideally located with motorways, Copenhagen Airport, the Øresund Bridge, Metro and international trains within few hundred meters.
The Blue Planet will be one of Denmark’s five most prominent tourist attractions. At the tourism conference “A New Way to Grow” 2012, the Blue Planet was chosen as Denmark’s best lighthouse project within experience economy, because of its potential for growth, influence on regional development, innovation, realization as well as its uniqueness and ‘reason to go’.
The History behind Denmark’s Aquarium
Denmark’s Aquarium was founded by civil engineer and contractor Knud Højgaard. It opened for the public in 1939 just four months before the break out of World War II and seven months before the occupation of Denmark. The consequence was closed borders and considerable problems in getting hold of exotic animals to the aquarium. However, through an impressive effort with Danish and home reared fish the aquarium was kept open and active. After the war, the aquarium was in a bad shape, and Knud Højgaard initiated extensive renovations. During the next decades the building went through several modernizations and enlargements.
For more than 73 years the original building in Charlottenlund was the setting for enjoyment and education for all ages. For the last years, however, the establishment was run down and a continuous demand for expansions and high end technologies was the order of the day.
Preparations for The Blue Planet
Already in the mid-90s, Jesper Horsted, curator of Denmark’s Aquarium, outlined the first ideas on how a totally new and modern aquarium should be designed. The old building needed a total renovation which would be costly without even providing guests with a significant better experience. A much needed enlargement was neither possible at the site nor economically feasible with regard to the overall improvement of the attraction of the aquarium.
What was needed was a new location and new framings to give coming generations of visitors new and outstanding adventures. Inspired by visits to the world’s most exciting aquariums and spiced up with ideas of his own, Jesper Horsted formulated his wishes for the design of a totally new Danish Aquarium. Principles which were later to become the fundament for the international competition of The Blue Planet.
Now, Denmark’s Aquarium is again at the international forefront with world class architecture, thousands of animals from all over the world and advanced presentation technologies.