Aquarium of the Pacific’s ‘Pacific Visions’ wing to open this May

Pictured+is+the+Pacific+Visions+wing+of+the+Aquarium+of+the+Pacific%2C+where+it+is+scheduled+to+open+May+24%2C+according+to+a+Jan.+8+press+release.+
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Aquarium of the Pacific’s ‘Pacific Visions’ wing to open this May

Pictured is the Pacific Visions wing of the Aquarium of the Pacific, where it is scheduled to open May 24, according to a Jan. 8 press release.

Pictured is the Pacific Visions wing of the Aquarium of the Pacific, where it is scheduled to open May 24, according to a Jan. 8 press release.

Courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific

Pictured is the Pacific Visions wing of the Aquarium of the Pacific, where it is scheduled to open May 24, according to a Jan. 8 press release.

Courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific

Courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific

Pictured is the Pacific Visions wing of the Aquarium of the Pacific, where it is scheduled to open May 24, according to a Jan. 8 press release.

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The Aquarium of the Pacific announced Jan. 8 in a press release that Pacific Visions, its first major expansion since its founding in 1998, will open to the public on May 24.

Pacific Visions, a 29,000-square-foot, two-story structure designed by the San Francisco-based architecture and design firm EHDD, will house a theater, exhibition space, art gallery and new live animal exhibits.

“The Aquarium is taking a bold, unconventional path with Pacific Visions,” said Jerry Schubel, CEO and president of the Aquarium of the Pacific, in the press release. “Rather than focusing on bigger exhibits and more spectacular animals, the new wing will turn the spotlight on the one species on our planet that is changing the future for all others– humans. Pacific Visions is the culmination of more than a decade of planning. It will challenge our visitors to examine human impact on our ocean planet and engage in the choices that will reduce that impact.”

According to the aquarium, visitors will be able to enter Pacific Visions through a 2,800-square-foot art gallery. The inaugural art installation, designed by Germany-based company Convivial Studio, will feature a multi-channel video installation, spatial soundscapes and sculptural relief walls enhanced with lighting.

The aquarium and Convivial Studio partnered with scientists and underwater photographers to capture the life that inhabits coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean and the microscopic world of plankton. The multimedia installation will comprise two three-minute projection sequences, dubbed “Coral World” and “Plankton World.”

Using video of plankton specimens and a scientific database from biologist Christian Sardet, Convivial created a simulation with images of hundreds of planktonic species drifting and interacting in scaled-up compositions. The aquarium states that, over recent years, Sardet and his team have developed new imaging techniques derived from medical applications to film the diverse types of plankton collected from the ocean.

The gallery will also include large-scale relief walls made of silicon and polymer materials that imitate the different textures found on coral reefs, overlain with video projections.

“It’s been an honor to work with scientists around the world, learning more about their research and utilizing their data sets in our art installation for Pacific Visions,” Paul Ferragut and Ann-Kristin Abel of Convivial Studio said in a statement in the press release. “We were charged by the aquarium to create an experience that would inspire visitors with wonder at the richness of marine life on our ocean planet, and we look forward to seeing how the public responds to the Coral World and to the Plankton World.”

In addition to the art gallery, visitors will then be able to access a 2,600-square-foot gallery, which will showcase an 18-foot-wide virtual waterfall with interactive elements that respond to movement. A 26-foot-wide by 8-foot-tall media wall features a film that introduces visitors to the history of life on Earth, the effect humans have on the planet’s biodiversity and an analyzation of the world’s population as it approaches a projected 10 billion people in 2050.

Moreover, Pacific Vision will boast a 5,000-square-foot culmination gallery, designed by Bowman Change Inc. with Cortina Productions, aquarium officials wrote.

Organizers intend to educate the public about the importance of making a “better planet” through interactive game tables, displays and live animal exhibits. Three interactive tables exploring food, energy and water will be set throughout the space.

Officials said the multiplayer interactive tables will aim to highlight California’s purported efforts to create resource sustainability.

In addition to the tables, the gallery features a 50-foot interactive wall, where an array of ocean imagery transports visitors beneath the waves. Marine life swims through the current of the oceanscape. Visitors will be able to engage with the content of the wall by gesturing and activating content to learn about stewardship of the ocean, climate change and sustainability. The culmination gallery will also feature a population tower that shows the projected growth of California’s population, records the global population in real-time and shows the projected population out to 2050. It also explores ways to stabilize and then reduce the global population.

For more information, visit aquariumofpacific.org.