Designing with Water: Aquadream Casablanca
Colorado-based International Concept Management (ICM) designs and builds custom water features and aquariums… big ones. Last year they unveiled the world’s first and largest cone-shaped aquarium with an interior glass elevator, in a transparent acrylic tube, at a shopping centerl in Casablanca, Morocco. Constructed of 4.7-inch thick acrylic panels, Aquadream is 31 feet high and holds 264,000 gallons of saltwater (made with fresh city water and artificial sea salt) and thousands of fish. Its base is just under 40 feet in diameter, and its top is just under 44 feet in diameter.
Made by ICM’s sister company, Reynolds Polymer Technology, the only design-build acrylic aquarium panel manufacturer in the U.S., Aquadream was too big to ship in one piece. Seven separate sections were bonded together on site, during which there were two small tremors. Casablanca is in a high seismic zone, so potential earthquake activity was a significant factor in the engineering. The aquarium sits on a concrete slab separate from the rest of the building. That isolation protects it from movement elsewhere in the mall, and also acts as a cushion.
In 2005, ICM built the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium in the lobby of the 427-room Radison Blu in downtown Berlin, Germany. The knowledge attained in that project was integral to the success of Aquadream.