The Two Oceans Aquarium officially breaks ground for its brand new exhibit on 28 January 2014 at 10h00.
“This is a momentous occasion. We’ve been working hard on this project for a number of years so we are absolutely thrilled to be breaking ground and finally starting construction,” said Dr Patrick Garratt, the Aquarium’s Managing Director. “We have the full support of our owners, GrowthPoint, PIC and Investec, and a great professional team which has been standing in the wings eager to get things underway. It is very exciting time for us.”
The new large-scale exhibit, which will be constructed on the parking lot between the existing Aquarium building and the One & Only Hotel, will contain 1.5 million litres of seawater and will be six metres in depth. A single acrylic panel, supplied by Clax Italia in Italy and measuring 9m long and 4 metres wide, will provide a seamless window into the exhibit. Included in the exhibit is a 10m complete full tunnel. Some of the animals on display will possibly include spotted eagle rays, honeycomb rays, smooth hound and spotted gully sharks, two species of tuna, and Yoshi the loggerhead turtle and Cannelloni the green turtle.
“Building a big new exhibit is the next best thing to building a new aquarium. It offers fantastic learning opportunities for staff. Our new exhibit will allow us to showcase beautiful marine animals and to further our education and awareness about the oceans. I am very proud to be project managing this expansion on behalf of the Aquarium,” said Mike de Maine, the Aquarium’s Technical Manager.
The Aquarium expansion project is one of several development projects underway at the V&A Waterfront. According to David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront and Chairperson of the Aquarium’s Board of Trustees, “The official start of this project brings with it much anticipation for the improved offering that will be unveiled. This project falls in line with our continued development with the view to improvement, reinvention and innovation, raising the bar and making the visitor experience that much better”.
The professional team includes project management company Mitchell, DuPlessis and Associates, MLH Architects & Planners, Schneid Libera Nieuwoudt Hanley (quantity surveyors), Aurecon (consulting structural, civil and wet services engineers), Solution Station (consulting electrical and fire engineers), Basil Nair and Associates (consulting mechanical engineers), Frontline Safety Health & Environmental Consultants, construction company Group Five and Clax Italia.
The new exhibit is scheduled to open in time for the summer holiday season in December 2014.