Zahner is designing and manufacturing the complex exterior form and surfaces for Aquario Ceara, a new public aquarium in Fortaleza, Brazil. The design was created by Leonardo Fontenele of Imagic Brasil, and upon its completion in 2015, it is projected to be the largest aquarium in South America, and the third largest aquarium in the world.

Zahner was brought on by aquarium experts ICM, Inc. of Grand Junction, Colorado to assist in the design and fabrication of the exterior form, an immensely complex building featuring an organic aesthetic.

Among architects, Zahner is known as the fabricator behind complex facades on some of the most well known buildings, such as the 911 Museum in New York, the Millenium Park Bandshell in Chicago, and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. 

The design for Aquario Ceara is similarly complex, building’s organic facade features twenty-three curving “legs” which support the structure of the Manta and Sea Urchin-shaped roof surface. Two of these “legs” were made as mockups and were shipped to Fortaleza to be assembled for the BRIC conference in Brazil last week.

Zahner was selected because of the company’s experience with complex curves, which are made possible by their patented ZEPPS technology, a series of tools first developed to help build the EMP Museum by Frank Gehry over ten years ago.

Image courtesy Rendering courtesy Government of the State of Ceará.
Image courtesy Rendering courtesy Government of the State of Ceará.