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ARCHITECT FOCUS


n The buidling’s façade is covered with raw aluminium shingles that reflect the sky and resemble fish scales close up Another difficulty is that it’s a very


aggressive environment, with salt water and damp, so it was difficult to make a construction that can be upstanding and sustainable for a long time, both inside and out. The building is by the water and in winter it’s freezing and very windy, so it’s a challenging place to build in every way. It wasn’t just about solving each problem physically – we also had to solve them within budget, which was the real challenge.


What’s in the outdoor areas? The design didn’t stop with the building – it spread to the outside. Moe & Brodsgaard designed the overall planning and layout of the external areas. The building extends beyond the original coastline, so visitors can look out across the sea from inside the aquarium. There’s a lake with carps and sea lions and a 15m (49ft)-high display


62 LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014


of the Faroe Islands’ bird cliff, which is home to many birds, including puffins. Siki sharks, halibut and catfish swim in the sea beneath. There are also outdoor play areas, picnic sites and a pond. Bushes have been planted around the car park, so in time the cars won’t be visible. The building is lifted up from the landscaping so it gets all the focus.


What materials did you use? The building is clad with raw, aluminium shingles, which reflect the sky in the same way water does. When you see the build- ing from the air it looks white because it reflects the sunlight. From ground level it’s the colour of the sky. In the evening, the sunset turns it a golden yellow. Inside, the décor is simple concrete and plaster in dark grey so it doesn’t compete with the aquariums – the focus is on the fish.


Were there design challenges? Because the building’s a morph shape, we couldn’t put any radius or diameters into it, so there’s no repetition in the shape. We tried many building styles before settling on a traditional method of creating a few frames that have the outside shape, in the same way a wooden boat’s built. We then clad it with raw aluminium shingles.


What are you most proud of? Of how flexible and unusual the shape is and how it takes up the different challenges. We borrowed the whirlpool shape from nature and there’s a reason nature makes its shapes the way it does – nature is very flexible.


A good building needs a good client. The foundation that sponsored the aquarium has been collaborative and professional. That’s why this project has been a success. l


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