Northern Europe’s largest aquarium opened this weekend in Denmark, replacing the existing aquarium that was built in 1939. The Blue Planet Aquarium features more than 7 million liters of ocean water and is home to more than 450 species including 20,000 fish and other animals such as sea lions, dwarf crocodiles and other water creatures. The aquarium showcases coral reef biotopes from around the world as well as biotopes resembling Africa’s Rift lakes, the Amazon River and the Faro bird cliffs, as well as a local biotope dedicated to species native to Denmark, according to GreenPacks.
More than 3,000 fish and other animals from the old aquarium were transferred to the new aquarium to join the more than 17,000 animals that were purchased from around the world to stock the new aquarium.
Environmentally friendly by design, the water in the aquarium is recycled and filtered in a closed loop system, with the waste water repurposed for the indoor gardens and other vegetation that can be found throughout the aquarium. In addition to the many exhibits, the aquarium has partnered with researchers and others in the scientific community in an effort to collaborate and tackle such issues as over fishing, pollution, and endangered species. These partners include Panum Institute, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark.
Blue Planet was conceived and designed by architectural design firm 3XN. The aquarium is shaped like a whirlpool and is 10,000 square meters in size. 3XN creative director Kim Herforth Nielsen told Architects Journal that the design is to bring people to the fish in a way that is unique. “Our wish was to bring our visitors all the way down to the world of the fish,” Herforth Nielsen said. “Therefore, the design of The Blue Planet is based on the story about water and life under the sea. We visualize the construction as a whirlpool which draws visitors into the depths to the fascinating experiences waiting among fish and sea animals from all over the world.”
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The aquarium was completed at a cost $126 million and took five years to build, from design to completion. For more information, visit The Blue Planet website.