Studio Gang has released images of the firm’s Strategic Master Plan for the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The driving force of this initiative is to identify opportunities for sustained growth, improvements to the visitor experience, and to reinforce the organization’s commitment to conservation and education at all scales.
The 33,500 square meter (360,000 square foot) plan calls for a new harmony to the aquarium’s facilities, which are currently separated by a former ship slip in the city’s harbor, by establishing a 3,500 square meter (37,000 square foot) urban wetland. In the words of the Studio, “By providing outdoor educational and social spaces for visitors and the public, the plan simultaneously improves the local ecology, creates a campus identity, strengthens connectivity, and extends the Aquarium’s growing conservation work in the region.”
Regarding the interior, Studio Gang wants to overhaul the circulation sequence in order to enhance the flow of visitors through attractions and amenities. Education spaces would be developed in facilities on both sides of the ship slip. Pier 3 would offer a tours of global “Hope Spots” (treasured ecosystems worth protecting), while Pier 4 would examine the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, taking visitors on a journey through various ecological zones of the estuary, the largest and one of the most fragile in the United States. In addition, educational labs and classrooms would be integrated within exhibitions, and there would be greater emphasis on the Aquarium’s conservation work.
“By strengthening connections between urban and aquatic life, [our] strategic master plan supports the Aquarium’s future success and goals to ‘fundamentally change the way people view and care for the ocean,’” says the Studio. The goal being to position the National Aquarium as a leader in debates on water quality, conservation, healthy harbors, and the sustainability and practices of aquariums worldwide.
Location501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, United States