An addition to the National Aquarium

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Montana State University - Bozeman


For my thesis, I have chosen a challenging topic; an addition to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. The National Aquarium is arguably the most powerful building on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. This makes the addition to be built on the next pier a difficult but interesting problem, a problem that is very exciting to me. The addition should have strong design characteristics for three reasons. (1), the National Aquarium is one of Baltimore's most notable 'landmarks, (2) the aquarium is a highly visible building because of its location on the Harbor, and (3) the program calls for a "distinct" building...The addition's new form should be inspired by composition, function, and the surrounding urban landscape. The addition's masses should be composed to create a unified whole all of which compliment the existing aquarium. The internal functions of the aquarium additon should also be a major form generator. This addition has great form and function possibilities. And the rich urban landscape of the Inner Harbor may also inspire the aquarium's forms in shape and materials...The aquarium addition also needs to respond to the sea life that inhabits the building. unlike the original building which houses mostly fish from deeper depths of the ocean, the addition will be home to sea mammals. These animals are accustomed to an abundance of natural light that fish aren't used to. The new addition must provide natural light and, if possible, fresh air during warmer months for the animals well being. This atmosphere should compliment the darker interior of the original building. I believe that if the addition is designed in the manner I have described above, it will be successful in complimenting the existing structure while maintaining a character of its own. This is essential in the addition's design if it is to be a successful addition to the Inner Harbor.




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