Van H. Gilbert Architect PC

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Antarctic Penguin Exhibit
Albuquerque Biological Park, New Mexico
2011

The new, multi-level, Antarctic Penguin Exhibit is home to Gentoo and King Penguins. With 52,000 gallons of saltwater, a simulated rocky shoreline with large rock outcroppings, and a chilly temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit, the Exhibit replicates the penguin’s native Antarctic environment. The exhibits glass floor provides visitors with a unique opportunity to peer into the water and witness the speed, fluid grace, and playful antics of the 36 penguin residents. A 40-foot long view window and a walk-in view bubble are other unique viewing perspectives that allow the visitor to seemingly step into the frolicking penguins ocean environment, be surrounded by frigid water, and encircled by swimming penguins. All this without getting wet!

A deck overlook provides doubles as event space for private parties or outdoor concerts. The exhibit also includes complete back-of-house services, salt-water holding pools for the care and feeding of the penguins, keeper facilities, and administrative offices.

The mechanical system and the computerized life-support system maintain the appropriate air and water temperatures and the correct water salinity. This new ‘state-of-the-art’ exhibit integrates educational materials about the penguins, their habitat, and environmental conditions in the Antarctic. Seen and unseen sustainable features are integrated into the project.

Recognition:
  • Anticipated LEED® Silver Certification
  • Featured in New Mexico Biopark Society magazine, BioScape 2010