Planning is underway for a significant renovation of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Audubon is working closely with CambridgeSeven and Cortina Productions, under the auspices of Eskew Dumez Ripple, to develop an exhibit concept and media program for new galleries that link Audubon’s conservation efforts that protect endangered species, habitats, and nature to experiences that spark individual action.
Last year, Audubon announced it would be moving Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium from the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street to the Aquarium campus on the river, building a combined experience that re-envisions the guest experience and educational programming. The move also presents a multitude of cost-savings and revenue-generating opportunities.
The project is expected to include approximately 17,000 square feet of new exhibit space constructed inside the existing walls of the Aquarium and 2,500 square feet of the existing Aquarium breezeway space that will be enclosed to create a shared public lobby.
The entrance into the Aquarium will move downriver, redirecting guest flow, and will feature a multi-story glass curtain wall and custom monumental stair. Existing Insectarium exhibit galleries, including a glass-roofed Butterfly Pavilion, will be relocated to the building’s second floor.
This facility renovation also includes the removal and decommissioning of the Entergy Giant Screen Theater, significant upgrades to mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, audiovisual, and security systems, and renovation and addition of new classroom space.
“Audubon Aquarium has been inspiring and educating our guests about the wonders of marine life since 1990,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “We are looking forward to our next chapter, creating an experience that illuminates our visitor’s relationship with the natural world and how their actions can do a world of good.”
The Audubon Commission will host a virtual public information session regarding the upcoming renovation of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas via Zoom webinar on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 6-7 p.m.
Those interested in the project are welcome to attend and are encouraged to provide input via Audubon’s website at https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/about-us/audubon-commission. Comments will also be accepted via the Zoom chat feature during the webinar.