Project DescriptionThe 390,000sf Wanda Nanchang Ocean World Aquarium in Nanchang, China is being constructed as part of Nanchang Wanda Cultural Tourism City, a 1.5-million-square-foot retail and entertainment complex that positions the aquarium to serve as a main attraction for some visitors, or as a value-added experience for mall shoppers.
tvsdesign worked closely alongside the exhibit designers to develop a program and a holistic spatial organization that reflects the client’s desire for a content rich and cutting-edge visitor experience. The firm’s imagination and willingness to push the limits of traditional aquarium architecture are on display with its design of the Wanda Nanchang Ocean World Aquarium. tvsdesign created a liquid architecture concept meant to evoke the rolling waves of the ocean and interior spaces that create a multisensory experience with falling water passageways, 360-degree views of habitats and multimedia walls that engage visitors from every angle.
The two-story facility is designed to offer visitors the multisensory experience of actually visiting an underwater world. The aquarium will specialize in the wide range of aquatic species unique to the Pacific Ocean, or the “Jewels of the Pacific.” The exhibits will total more than 4.2 million gallons of water (including a 2.1 million gallon tank for whale sharks). The aquarium also will feature a 360-degree theater, a 1,800-seat venue for dolphin and sea lion shows, multipurpose event spaces, and a rainforest canopy walk complete with a suspension bridge.
The underwater journey will take visitors to five unique aquatic climates. The building itself is organized around a two-story central plaza that serves as the launching board to the major climate zones where each exhibit tells a unique story through technology and hands-on experiences. For example, rough, surging waters at the Cold Ocean Gallery will give visitors an encounter with the harsh marine environments of the rocky coastline, while the dappling, sun-filled Tropical Ocean Gallery will offer a contrasting perspective of a vivid coral reef. Visitors can expect to find whale sharks, rays and hawksbill turtles, among other aquatic life from the Pacific Ocean.