Pulp Studio: The award-winning exterior of the Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific / Pacific Visions (Photography by Tom Bonner)
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Decorative glass, as the term implies, needs to be both functional and beautiful. When Pulp Studio was asked to assist with the design of the exterior facade of an addition to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, the requirement was that the exterior have both a reflective finish to pick up the changing light conditions near the ocean, but it also needed to eliminate any direct reflection of the sky by diffusing the light. This was no easy task considering the project required 800 unique panels, encompassing 18,000 square feet.

The mission for the building was to focus on the health of the Pacific Ocean and to convey the story of animals that depend upon its well-being. While the original aquarium presents its aquatic program within a series of curvilinear, rippled shapes, the new building provides a counterpoint within a single sinuous, biomorphic form that is meant to encourage different interpretations. The results speak for themselves—providing a dynamic visual articulation of sea, sky, and city. Pulp Studio was honored to have been awarded Best Decorative Glass Application by Glass Magazine for its work on this project.

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