Newport Aquarium / Newport Aquarium
Location: Newport, Kentucky
Size: 100,000 SF/New Construction
Sited atop the levee on the south bank of the Ohio River, the Aquarium is the anchor attraction of Newport on the Levee, a 10-acre entertainment district. The design of the building references nautical imagery by its signature profile and soaring masts. Conceptually, the design of the exhibits is intended to entertain as well as educate, which is a new approach to aquarium design. The fifteen exhibit areas depict fresh and saltwater habitats using several walk-through tanks with acrylic vaults, including a shark tank and a coral reef. Equally dramatic are the jellyfish and penguin exhibits and the theater.
The need to continuously enhance exhibits to generate excitement and bring people back brought the Aquarium back to GBBN to create an expansion with spaces for events, flexible exhibits and a dedicated immersion habitat. Exploring the new exhibit, "Treasures of the Rainforest Islands" which features the Asian Small Clawed Otter, is like walking through an Indonesian habitat. Designers and artificial rockwork artists have transformed the building into a rainforest through the use of streams, pools, waterfalls, and rocky portals.