The National Aquarium’s many marine dwellers in the Inner Harbor will soon have some new digs for when they need to go for a check-up.
The aquarium announced this morning that it is partnering up with Design Collective and Plano-Coudon Construction to build the new facility at 901 E. Fayette Street, about a block east of the Shot Tower. It will be 50,000 square feet and have enough room for all of the aquarium’s current and future animals and some of its rescued ones, according to a release.
The present animal care center in Fells Point is 22 years old; the aquarium is planning to “fully transition” to the new space once it is built in 2018.
“The addition of the Animal Care and Rescue Center to Jonestown supports efforts to revitalize and invest in this historic neighborhood, while also providing the highest level of care for the Aquarium’s animals,” said Jacqueline Bershad, the aquarium’s vice president of planning and design, in a statement.
Design Collective will be in charge of architectural design and construction administration, while Plano-Coudon will be advising on costs and construction and managing all subcontractors. Design Collective has experience working with the aquarium, having designed its award-winning Living Seashore exhibit.
In the planned facility, guests will be able to see up-close how the animal rescue team works. The space is being designed to allow the public to look in on the facility while keeping “rigorous standards” for animal care, according to a release. Renderings of the site show an open space with a lobby and viewing windows for guests. The aquarium said in a release that it hopes the layout of the new space will allow the public to better understand the processes of animal quarantining and exhibit fabrication.
Here are a couple other startlingly realistic mockups of the new care and rescue center:
Construction and the move center are slated to happen in the next 18 months. A mix of the aquarium’s own funds and public and private money are funding the project.