As Associate Architect and Architect of Record for the base building, ESKW/A worked closely with The Portico Group in Seattle on the new shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. This new, approximately 58,000-square-foot building is an initial component of New York City’s revitalization plan for the historic seaside neighborhood and will house over 115 marine species.
One of the project’s many challenges was the execution of artist Ned Kahn’s ‘shimmer wall’ of more than 40,000 free swinging aluminum flappers that wrap the building on a tension cable structure and move gently with the wind. A continuously curving ramp along the building’s perimeter leads to an observation point on the roof and a view of the Atlantic Ocean not previously available to the aquarium visitor.
Coney Island was hit hard during Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012; as the neighborhood rebuilds, ESKW/A was part of a team that analyzed the damage to prepare for the restoration of the NY Aquarium.
The project earned an Excellence in Design award from the NYC Public Design Commission in 2012.