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Georgia Aquarium

Alucobond ACM, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia

Project Name: Georgia Aquarium
Project Location: Atlanta, Georgia
ALUCOBOND PLUS Materials: 50,000 sq. ft. of 4mm Platinum Mica, Silver Metallic, and Custom 3-coat Blue Metallic
Year of Installation: 2005
Architect: Thompson, Ventulett,Stainback, Atlanta, GA
Fabricator: The Miller Clapperton Partnership, Austell, Georgia
Attachment Method: MCP 100 attachment system

Georgia Aquarium’s Design Includes Alucobond Material Cladding

“Architecture meant to reflect the relationship between mankind and the world’s oceans,” is a highlight statement by Atlanta-based Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates (TVS) in commentary about the firm’s design contributions to the new Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. Alucobond® Material and Alucobond® Plus Material were used as exterior cladding panels to help suggest a ship’s hull as part of the architectural design of the Georgia Aquarium. As aluminum composite materials (ACM), the Alucobond panels consist of two sheets of .02” aluminum thermobonded to a plastic core.

The Georgia Aquarium opened in Atlanta on November 23, 2005 as the world’s largest aquarium.

Alucobond ACM, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia

“The TVS design combines a unique exterior profile for the Aquarium with an interior concept that strives to give visitors the sensation of actually visiting an underwater world,” according to TVS. The firm’s design commentary states:

The vision of Georgia Aquarium benefactor Bernie Marcus was to create the world’s most engaging aquarium experience. Therefore, the guiding principles of the design team were “liquid architecture” and “immersive experience” – concepts that focus on wrapping visitors into an underwater world while they interact with the world’s most incredible ocean creatures. The large blue metal and glass exterior of the Aquarium — designed in the abstracted shape of an “Ark”– is sited to allow its lanterned ship’s hull to be highly visible from Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta. The ship’s hull emerges from two large buildings that feature curved, flowing roofs designed to represent swells in the ocean. These wave forms crash against the “shore,” creating an amphitheater and covering canopy that embrace the visitor into the entrance plaza of the Aquarium.

Under the bow of the ship, visitors enter a “world without walls” featuring five underwater-themed exhibits — Georgia Explorer, River Scout , Cold Water Quest, Tropical Diver and Ocean Voyager – that are designed to stimulate the imagination, reflecting what the world’s oceans mean to mankind.

“We were careful to make sure that the architectural design would complement, not overwhelm, the aquarium experience,” said Gary Fowler, Principal Designer at TVS. “From the design of the exterior hull to the liquid interior design features, we wanted to give visitors a real sense of the wonders of aquatic life.”

Approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of Alucobond materials in 3,600 panels of 4mm thickness were used for the Georgia Aquarium. The ACM panels were fabricated and installed by The Miller-Clapperton Partnership, Inc., Austell, Georgia. The ACM panels were finished in colors of Platinum, Silver Metallic and a custom 3-coat Blue Metallic, and installed using the MCP 100 attachment system. The Alucobond materials provide ease of installation; the product can maintain a smooth, flat surface for a “high-tech” look, yet be fabricated easily into crisp corners and sweeping curves. The ACM panels are also frequently chosen for long-term durability and ease of maintenance.
The TVS design commentary adds:

Alucobond ACM, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia

With more than 8 million gallons of marine and fresh water, and more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species, the Georgia Aquarium is a gift to the people of Georgia from Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, and his wife Billi, through the Marcus Foundation. The Aquarium will be overseen by a nonprofit corporation run by a board of directors. The mission of the Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibitions and programs of the highest standards, offering engaging and entertaining visitors’ experiences, and promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world.

Additional information on the Georgia Aquarium can be found at

TVS is an award-winning design firm with more than 35 years of experience in planning, architecture and interior design. Well known for the design of convention centers, TVS also serves the retail, corporate office, hospitality, mixed use and entertainment markets. Additional information about TVS can be found at

Heery International, headquartered in Atlanta, provided program management and owner’s representative services. General contractor was Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC, Kennesaw, Georgia.

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Colors Used

Platinum Mica
Silver Metallic