Inspired by the shape of water in endless motion, Denmark's new National Aquarium, The Blue Planet by Danish architects 3XN is shaped as a great whirlpool. Into Another World: The walls and roofs form a single, continuous flow and the longest of the whirlpool's arms follows the shape of the landscape and the building, moving into the land inviting visitors inside. As soon as visitors arrive at The Blue Planet, the building will convey a sense of the special experience that awaits them inside. Here, the whirlpool has pulled you into another world - a world beneath the surface of the sea. If you tilt your head backwards, you understand that you are really a part of this aquarium because the roof above the foyer is made of glass, and at the same time it is thebottom of a pool. Flexible Flows Between Exhibitions: The Round Room is a centre of navigation in the aquarium, and this is where visitors choose which river, lake or ocean to explore. Each exhibition has its own face towards the Round Room, each with its own entrance, starting with a buffer zone - a platform where sound and images are used to introduce the atmosphere communicated in the ensuing exhibition room.
One with the Surrounding Landscape: Similar to a water current, the building is not static. Instead there is a continuous movement moving through the terrain, the pools and the sea surrounding the building, emphasising water's constant state of flow. In the landscape, the great whirlpool continues through the terrain, the pools and the sea surrounding the building. Complex Building Project: The Blue Planet is a building of great complexity, and 3XN has taken on the role as project manager for 15 sub-consultants - including Kvorning Exhibition Designers and the Australian aquarium experts AAT. Ambitions have been sky high from the outset, and the construction of the special double curved facade has been a development project in itself, which has proven a great challenge to all parties involved.
Christian Bundegaard is a Danish philosopher and architecture critic. Besides numerous review articles and essays he has published a number of books on architecture and design. He currently holds a PhD Scholarship at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, with a research project on the relationship between the public sphere and public space. Architect MAA/RIBA Kim Herforth Nielsen is the founder and nerve of the Danish practice, 3XN Architects. Taking a holistic approach that synthesizes design, function and context, Kim Herforth Nielsen has been involved in all of 3XNs major internationally acclaimed projects: The Museum of Liverpool, the Muziegebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam, Orestad College and Denmark's new aquarium, The Blue Planet. He has been awarded Denmark's highest architectural honor, the C.F. Hansen Medaille, and he is a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, a chartered member of RIBA and of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.