Henning Larsen Architects’ proposal for Batumi Aquarium is inspired by the characteristic pebbles of the Batumi beach – shaped by sea currents through millennia. The building stands out as an iconic rock formation visible from both land and sea. The formation constitutes four self-supporting exhibition areas with each stone representing a unique marine biotype – the Aegean Sea & the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Black Sea & the Red Sea and finally the more interactive exhibition space for teaching and “edutainment”.
The new aquarium will replace the older, existing aquarium and will be situated on the beach side of Rustaveli Str. adjacent to Batumi 6 May Park featuring a Dolphinarium and a Zoo. Batumi Aquarium will become a modern, cultural aquarium offering visitors an educational, entertaining and visually stimulating journey through the different seas. The central, multipurpose space in connection with the aquarium features a café and retail functions and its flexible layout makes it well-suited for presentations and workshops. Visitors can gather in the central space to play, eat, shop and relax before continuing through the exhibitions. An outdoor landscape of sea archipelagos surrounds the aquarium and provides the opportunity for innovative research and learning as well as informal meetings along the coast.
Batumi is the capital of the south-western province Adjara in Georgia. The city has approx. 120,000 citizens and is situated by the Black Sea, approx. 20 km from the border of Turkey. Batumi is a very active tourist city and commercial port. Unlike other cities in Georgia, the houses of Batumi are richly coloured and the city bears the mark of being a sailor city with a number of restaurants and cafés. Batumi also has wonderful beaches and many small hotels.Location: The Republic of Georgia Architect: Henning Larsen Architects
Client: Association A.T.U. Project name: Batumi Aquarium
Gross floor area: 2,000 m2
Type of assignment: First prize in invited competition. Other participants were the German architecture company Drei Architekten as well as the two American companies PJA Architects and Pryor & Morrow Architects.
Project team: Louis Becker (design director, partner) Anders Park (project manager), Viggo Haremst (design responsible), Michael Sørensen and Jaewoo Chun