Ripley’s Aquarium Penguin Playhouse

The project included 5,500 square foot new addition and 6,000 square foot interior renovation for a total of 11,500 square foot.  The Penguin exhibit was a cast in place concrete structure to protect the animals during hurricanes as well as stand up to the related harsh salt environment.  This addition and interior renovation included auger piles, cast concrete structure, interior light gauge framing, acrylic panel exhibit tanks, and full integration with the existing chiller, fire security, network, electrical, and plumbing systems.  Program included 9 small exhibits, the main penguin exhibit, two classrooms, new offices, souvenir shop, penguin encounter room, penguin isolation room, classrooms, bathrooms, and life support rooms.  The custom cast penguin tank with wave generator and the supporting LSS systems present the biggest challenges and require thorough coordination.

The challenge with aquarium work is to understand that the final product is in constant flux.  To be flexible with the Owner so that their vision is realized would be the second most important priority.  The greatest priority however is designing and building so that all of the animals remain safe, happy, and unaffected.

Architect: Tungsten Corporation with inFORM Studio

Owner: Ripley’s Entertainment Inc. Engineer: inFORM Studio


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