The Georgia Aquarium is in essence a snapshot of the marine biome. Nature runs at the core of the structure. The exterior part of the building itself is rounded and has many curves to give a flowing feel and lets the light reflect smoothly replicating the surface of water. No matter where you are there will always be a flowing liquid-like design around the whole building. When you walk into the entrance the ocean aspect takes over with two large tanks on either side of you. The way they built the tanks made the illusion of an infinity tank. The reflection of the tanks across from each other also give a field of depth for a more natural feel. The atrium is built like a large cave with smooth walls to bounce light effects off the surfaces to create the illusion of being underwater with the light refraction from the sun.
The entrances to the exhibits are contrasting to the smooth architecture and replaced the style with a more natural cave style look. Each Exhibit was styled in the image they were trying to portray. The Freshwater cove disguised its structures as trees with branches and roots winding down from the walls and framing the tanks for a natural look. In the Arctic area, Fake ice and stone were used to cover the tanks and the areas surrounding them. The tropical diver exhibit brought the aspects of a coral reef out of the tank to make you feel like you are walking through a coral reef. The large tank in tropic bows out on the top of the tank to come over your head that creates waves to give a more natural immersion of being underwater.
The Ocean Voyager was made in less light using as little light outside the tank as possible to let the blue glow of the water light up the exhibit to create natural patterns along the walls of the waves. The exhibit, in contrast to the natural feel, had a more mechanical feel to it, with submarine style windows to look into the tank and the industrial style. The tunnel forms as more natural feeling bring the curved architecture back into the style and brings technology into the tunnel with a slow moving walkway the entire length of the tunnel. The end of the tunnel brings you to the “theater room” where the entire wall opens up to an acrylic window giving a crystal clear view into the busiest part of the tank. The window into the tank was actually made of multiple sections of acrylic panes of glass that were one and a half feet deep to handle the water pressure of the tank, much like a submarine window.
The Georgia Aquarium is for the lack of a better term, bringing nature into an urban environment. It brings natural elements into industrial work and creates amazing illusions that make us question what is fake and what is truly natural. From the different ecosystems each exhibit represents to the main section of the building being one huge allusion to 90% of our world The nature of the building can make the building feel otherworldly.