A one-of-a-kind park in the world
The Oceanographic Park (L'Oceanogràfic) in Valencia is a showcase for the wide variety of ecosystems representing the planet's marine fauna, fish and mammals alike.
In it are recreated the marine and terrestrial environments of the coastal zones of the various climate areas of the Earth. This place is dedicated to the preservation and study of and information about marine life in all its forms. The Oceanographic Park is a set of buildings and landscaped spaces arranged around a lake that acts as the integrating element of the whole complex from the urban design point of view. The park has been designed in two levels. The lower level is underground and houses most of the aquariums and service areas. The upper level is mostly for outdoor leisure use. This solution, in addition to making better use of the available space, has the advantage of having a lower environmental impact, because there is a substantial reduction in surface building. The floor area is 100,000 m2.
The Oceanographic Park makes the most out of the technical possibilities of acrylic materials, and numerous large pieces of acrylic have been used (The Oval Hall, 24 metres long, is catalogued as the world's biggest acrylic panel, and there are two underwater tunnels, one 30 metres long and the other, 70 metres long). Altogether over 1,850 m2 of acrylic have been installed, in sheets whose thickness ranges from 4 to 33 centimetres. Another unique thing about the Park is its use of chemical seals to give an unobstructed view of the aquariums.
There are several noteworthy traits in the reinforced-concrete buildings: their design, their curved shapes and their functional service. But what really draws one's attention is their many different kinds of roofs.
First, there are the roofs of the Admission building and the Submarino Restaurant building. They are two ruled hyperbolic paraboloids with identical lobes (three at the Admission building and eight at the restaurant), made of a white concrete sheet 12 centimetres thick (admission) or 6 centimetres thick (restaurant) and having an edge width that varies in the rib and support areas. The arches traced by the parabolas' edges are very sharp, and where the parabolas dip to the ground, the distance to the top of the roof is quite high, 12.7 metres at the restaurant building and a towering 20.5 metres at the Admission building.
The construction processes used in the most important activities and the differentiating features of the design are these:
- Hyperbolic paraboloid roofs on the Submarino Restaurant and the Admission building.
- GRC roof over the Arctic Seas building.
- Water treatment facilities and power plant.
- Laminated wood structure at the Steak House (the Océanos Restaurant).
- Spatial grid system in the roof of the Arctic Seas, Continental and Chimney buildings.
- Theme work inside aquariums and outdoors.
360º Virtual visit (Use the mouse to rotate the image around 360º)