Aquarium of the Americas & Woldenberg Riverfront Park
Located at the foot of Canal Street and facing the Mississippi River, the Aquarium greets visitors with a generous arcade that curves toward the public plaza, opening its entry in a gesture of welcome. A procession of Ida Kohlmeyer sculptures top twenty columns, enhancing the building’s fanciful riverfront facade. In contrast, the opposite side of the building facing the Central Business District presents a more simple, refined facade. in conjunction with the pedestrian promenade of Woldenberg Park following the river, the Aquarium of the Americas provides critical access to the riverfront and connects the French Quarter to Canal Street.
Beginning with the entrance fountain clad in stainless steel “scales,” the Aquarium takes visitors through a series of experiences inspired by the waters of the Americas. The architectural team worked closely with exhibit designers to fully integrate the guest experience. Interior spaces are punctuated with windows for natural light and views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding city. The phase two expansion included a concession and retail area, space for changing exhibitions, and the 350-seat IMAX theater. Manning’s team was a member of the architectural joint ventures for both Phases I and II, totaling over 170,000 square feet.