Aquariums, Zoos, Special Habitats

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole
Baltimore, Maryland
50,000 SF
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National Aquarium In Baltimore Feature 0013 Alain
© Alain Jaramillo

Consistently ranked one of the top three aquariums in the United States

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, situated in the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore, has an annual attendance of 1.5 million visitors and is the largest tourism attraction in Maryland. It is consistently ranked one of the nation’s top three aquariums. The 50,000 square foot expansion included habitats representing an Australian river canyon and a Maryland freshwater river. A dramatic 60-foot-high waterfall greets visitors at the main entry. The main exhibit allows visitors to walk through the river canyon and experience birds, terrestrial species, and water habitats.

Special mechanical systems in the habitat include rock warming areas, mist systems, radiant floors and high changeover ventilation systems. Ductwork was integrated into the rock wall of the canyon and outlets were hidden among the crevices. Hot and chilled water systems were integrated with the animal life support systems to permit rapid warm-up and cool-down of tank make-up water. The many sustainable features of the project include grey water systems for toilet flushing and irrigation, high performance glass to maintain required habitat light levels while reducing solar heat gain, and waterless urinals. The emergency generator has available capacity to power all life support systems in the aquarium in the event that utility power is lost. The generator is also utilized for load shedding during peak summer months and controls are capable of delivering excess power back to the utility grid.