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  • The Festival of Waters

    Blue Planet Aquarium, Copenhagen

    Architect: 3XN A/S
    Text: Eszter Götz
    Photos: Adam Mørk © 3XN A/S


    Blue Planet, the largest aquarium of Denmark was completed this March. Its architectural design is based on a symbol, but goes far beyond this: presented as a form of a whirlpool, it also expresses the complex systen of correlations between 21st-century civilisation and water. 3XN, a Danish team of architects made a design of a spiral shaping a whirlpool standing on an artificial sand-bank reaching into the sea. It has no main elevation, but exposes itself as a different view at various times during the day and from a variety of angles. This spectacular whirlpool-form is a representation of the topic of water simultaneously abstract and figurative. However, it has its practical advantages as each of the five arms of the whirl may be extended later on if necessary without compromising the entirety of the concept. Its organic exterior, the arches of the intertwining five arms are clad in tiny diamond-shaped aluminium plates looking like scales on close inspection. This is why it has unique colour effects: the metal shingles reflect the ever-changing shades of the sky and the sea embracing the building from three sides. Walking round the longest arm from the outside the visitors have the impression that the entrance in the centre of the whirl attracts them into the underwater world whilst if we look around the sea and the smaller pools also emphasize the topic of water.

    Client: Bygningsfonden Den Blå Planet
    General design: 3XN Architects
    Architects: Kim Herforth Nielsen, Jan Ammundsen, Bo Boje Larsen, Stig Vesterager Gothelf, Eva Hviid-Nielsen, Majbritt Lerche Madsen, Rasmus Hjortshøj, Peter Feltendal, Bodil Nordstrøm, Christina Melholdt Broegaard, Nis Timmer, Christian Bundegaard, Ida S. Greisen, Martin Rejnholt Frederiksen, Torsten Wang, Simon Hartmann-Petersen, Mans Nijkamp, Ulrich Pohl, Kasper Guldager Jørgensen, Martin Jonsbak, Lasse Lind, Jesper Thøger Christensen, Mogens Bruun Jepsen, Carsten Olsen, Pernille Uglvig Jessen, Stine de Bang
    Consulting engineers: Moe & Brødsgaard
    Landscape: Henrik Jørgensen Landskab
    Exhibition: Kvorning design & kommunikation
    Large constructions: MT Højgaard, Hoffmann, Kai Andersen, E. Pihl & Søn