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May 19, 2023

Excellence in Innovation

Photo courtesy of Turner Construction
The 360,000-gallon coral reef enclosure was created with a monolithic placement of concrete.

Turner Construction

Adjacent and just to the east of the existing Seattle Aquarium, the Ocean Pavilion will amplify the aquarium’s existing global conservation efforts and inspire a worldwide ocean ethic by bringing visitors face-to-face with tropical species native to the Coral Triangle, a marine biodiversity hot spot in the Indo-Pacific region.

The 3,500 sustainably sourced animals that will live in the Ocean Pavilion are members of complex and delicate tropical reef ecosystems. The aquarium plans for its new habitats to house apex predators (sharks and rays), fish (wrasses, grouper, trevally, butterflyfish and others), up to 30 species of corals, anemones, sea stars, giant clams, and other marine life. The habitats will also feature mangrove trees — critical sources of shelter for young fish. By highlighting the interconnected nature of marine ecosystems, the Ocean Pavilion will allow visitors to see how losing even a single species has a devastating ripple effect.

The project’s unique shape has few regular angles or flat surfaces, and relies on copious amounts of concrete and rebar to support its future 360,000-gallon coral reef ecosystem. Turner used a custom forming approach using CNC foam build-up to make many of those curved surfaces.

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