Brasfield & Gorrie has broken ground on the expansion of Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the US, under the Expansion 2020 project.
Under the expansion plan, a new four-storey structure will be constructed, which will complement the existing building’s boat façade. A one-million-gallon shark exhibit will also be constructed, which will be the highlight of the 104,100ft² expansion.
The new, interactive and immersive exhibit will have expansive acrylic viewing areas and a number of animal interactions in the works, allowing the guests to get even closer to some of the animals.
The expansion will also include a new entrance and exit, office spaces, retail spaces, loading dock and new ticketing services.
The new exhibit will be located off the aquarium’s main atrium, adjacent to SunTrust Pier 225.
Since the opening of the aquarium in 2005, Brasfield & Gorrie has completed several expansions, including the renovation of the ballroom, the dolphin expansion, multiple marine life holding projects, the sea lion exhibit and the renovation of the café.
Brasfield & Gorrie senior project manager Mark Crump said: “Since breaking ground on the original Georgia Aquarium project in 2003, we have been fortunate enough to continue our work on the Georgia Aquarium campus and strengthen our relationship with this valued client. We look forward to bringing the Expansion 2020 project vision to reality.”
Brasfield & Gorrie is collaborating with Peckham, Guyton, Alberts & Viets Architects on the project, which is slated for completion in 2020.
Georgia Aquarium president and COO Joe Handy said: “This will be one of our largest exhibits and one of the largest expansions we’ve done in our history.
“We’re thrilled to be offering a grand new entrance that introduces our visitors to the wonder and awe of the aquarium, and to bring them closer to one of the most important species of the world’s ocean.”
The aquarium will remain open during construction and a temporary entrance will be provided to ensure guests are able to enter the aquarium with ease.
The temporary entrance can be accessed from the Georgia Aquarium parking deck and from Pemberton Place.
Earlier in 2018, Georgia Aquarium had revealed plans for a new gallery featuring sharks.
Image: Brasfield & Gorrie breaks ground on Georgia Aquarium expansion. Photo: courtesy of Brasfield & Gorrie.