Honor: Public Architecture
Project name: New England Aquarium Giant Ocean Tank Renovation
Project location: Boston
Firm name: Cambridge Seven Associates
Jury comments: One of the goals of this renovation was to provide universal access to the top of a monumental tank while enhancing the total experience for all visitors. A program to increase sensory experience overall, which includes greatly improved lighting and integrates special audio for hearing access, certainly helps achieve this goal. This work provides a holistic approach to accessibility design that goes far beyond ramps and other predictable design elements. Every aspect of the renovation is respectful of and well-integrated into the original design. Viewing stations and sensory rooms, as well as a glass wall that allows for someone in a wheelchair to look down into the tank really upped the architect’s and client’s game by ensuring possibilities of enchantment for all audience types. This is great universal design.
Client: New England Aquarium
Consultants: Turner Construction, RW Sullivan, Weidlinger Associates, Available Light, Kalin Associates