Submitted by Palak Shah

The new Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion by LMN Architects makes notable advancement in construction

United States Architecture News - Dec 22, 2022 - 22:20   2044 views

The new Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion by LMN Architects makes notable advancement in construction

Driven by the purpose to inspire the conservation of the marine environment, the Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion intends to integrate a complex program centered on the engaging public with Seattle’s new central waterfront. Inclusive of a 50,000 Sq ft (4,645-square-metre) immersive living exhibits, back-of-house elements, theatrical spaces, and views of the surrounding landscape & waterfront, the project is the first noteworthy addition to the aquarium since 2007.



Image ©LMN Architects 

Designed by LMN Architects, a Seattle-based firm; the Pavilion connects the existing Aquarium facilities that populate Piers 59 and 60 to transition into an engaging human environment linking the city, waterfront, and ocean. A sequence of public pathways provides vertical connections between several levels within the public plazas, stitched comprehensively by interpretive NW native gardens and community spaces. These plazas will join the network of other open spaces along the waterfront and shall be adjacent to the new Overlook Walk designed by the City of Seattle Office of the Waterfront, James Corner Field Operations, Miller Hull, and Jacobs.



Image © LMN Architects

Spatially, the proposed building is organized with an urban edge, spotlighting the back-of-house support systems for the Pavilion. Towards the west, the sweeping geometries with a combination of open views extend a visual connection to the Salish Sea and beyond. The thoughtfully located glazing offers equitable opportunities for the public to get a glimpse of the Pavilion’s interior and engage with activities inside of the Aquarium, including an iconic Oculus that provides views of the main reef ecosystem exhibit.


The new Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion by LMN Architects makes notable advancement in construction

Image © LMN Architects with Thinc Design

"The site of the Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion is a prominent place in the new waterfront where the waterfront public spaces, the connection to Pike Place Market, and proximity to the Salish Sea intersect. It is a place of importance in the urban framework,” said Mark Reddington, Partner, LMN Architects, “The Ocean Pavilion as the connecting piece in this location demonstrates Seattle’s commitment to fighting climate change. At a time when the world is struggling with massive environmental challenges, and when Seattle is transforming its central waterfront to be integrated with the ecology of the ocean, this project capitalizes on that convergence to elevate the public experience, understanding, and support for the health of the world’s ocean.”


Image © Adam Hunter, LMN Architects

The upcoming project is currently coordinating three different project construction schedules, which include the Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion, the City’s Overlook Walk Project and the City’s Main Corridor project. The construction of the Ocean Pavilion is currently underway and is expected to be completed in the year 2024. So far, the project is on track to meet its year-end construction milestone that involves completion of the core and shell, roof, main exhibit form, habitat structures, and installation of the habitat acrylic windows and animal life support systems.

Project Facts

Location: Seattle, Washington.
Client: Seattle Aquarium Society.

Major Building Materials:
FSC Alaskan Yellow Cedar (harvested from tribally owned and managed forests) Façade, concrete, curtain wall, IGU, composite metal panel, carpet created from old fishing nets, acrylic glazing, paper composite sheet material.

Site Area: 38,000 SFT (3,530 sq.m.).
Floor Area: 50,000 SFT (4,645 sq.m.).
Building Height: 50 FT.

Number of Floors: 2 stories + Mezzanine and Roof.

Renderings and Publication Drawings: Courtesy LMN Architects.

Top Image © LMN Architects.

> via LMN Architects

LMN Architects