SANOOR design studio
Toledo Aquarium
Renovation and Modernization,
Toledo, Ohio

As Project Architect @ EHDD Architecture - 2011/12

Size/Budget -
33,000 sf / $25 M

Status -
Construction to start in 2013 and finish in 2015.

The Toledo Aquarium is located in the mid-western state of Ohio, North America. The freshwater source for this facility is from the Great Lakes via the channels of the Maumee River. In spring 2015 the aquarium will welcome back their visitors to a completely remodeled facility which will celebrate the marine life in both the lakes and the oceans of national and international waters.

A delicate contemporary intervention was proposed on the exterior, without compromising on the architectural history of the 30,000 sf WPA era brick and stone masonary building built in 1933. The historical insulating glass block façade was retained and new high performance glass doors were introduced only where required; The interior was gutted and redesigned as a modern aquarium to accomodate a 400% increase in water gallonage, in addition to incorporating the lastest cutting edge technologies. The extensive new collection is accommodated within the existing historical fabric by conducting selectively orchestrated moves such as: exhibiting larger tanks within the new expanded entry lobby; redesigning an entry porch into an enclosed conference room; service areas are efficiently compact in consideration of larger exhibits. The client’s aspiration for a whole new experience for its visitors is achieved by creatively shifting their relationship with the building e.g. the current north and south entrances are commissioned for other purposes and visitors now enter in the center of the building as a gesture to the original central entrance. The project is aiming for LEED Silver equivalency.