Henning Larsen's Batumi Aquarium

Henning Larsen Architects, one of the leading architectural firms in Denmark, won the aquarium design competition in Batumi, Georgia, with its unique original design that reminds of pebbles on the beach.

In the Batumi Aquarium Competition, four teams including Drei Architekten from Germany, PJA Architects and Pryor & Morrow Architects from the United States and Henning Larsen Architects were invited to compete with one another, and in the end, Henning Larsen's proposal was selected.

The aquarium's site is located on the beach looking over the Batumi beach and the Black Sea. Henning Larsen used the pebbles characterizing the Batumi beach as design motif. It is an example in which peculiar shape of pebbles, rounded and smoothed by the waves for thousands of years, have been turned into a space.

The impressive design which is futuristic and natural at the same time drew a lot of interest even before the construction started, and I would like to introduce it in more detail.

 Location: Batumi in the Republic of Georgia
Client: Association A.T.U
Gross Floor Area: 2,000 m2
Type of assignment: First prize in invited competition
Year of design: 2010
Project team from Henning Larsen Architects includes Louis Becker (design director, partner), Anders Park (project manager), Viggo Haremst (design chief), Michael Sørensen and Jaewoo Chun.
The building consists of a central hall and four pebble-shaped exhibition halls. The central hall has a cafe, an auditorium and commercial space, and the pebble-shaped spaces are designed as exhibition halls. Each exhibition hall symbolizes unique biotypes of different seas, including the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Red Sea.

Visitors get to explore pebble wings in which distinct seas are unfolded. The aquarium is expected to be a dynamic space where visitors can acquire knowledge about five seas and enjoy entertainment.

Floor plan of exhibition hall: the floor plan shows outdoor research/education space, common use space, meeting rooms, etc. located along the beach side of pebble wings.

The building whose design embraces inspiration from nature in an artificial structure is sure to become a new landmark of the region and is expected to contribute to promotion of oceanography through the cutting-edge technology of the aquarium.

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