Flowcrete developed a unique flooring solution especially for the new National Aquarium Denmark, Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet), which reflects light to create a captivating underwater illusion.
The Copenhagen based aquarium is Northern Europe’s largest and is set to become the country’s newest architectural landmark, having already won awards for its stylish design.
The building, by Danish architects 3XN, flows in the shape of a giant whirlpool with organically curving walls, innovatively integrated water features and shimmering floors – all designed to make visitors feel immersed in a marine environment.
A key part of this illusion is the swirling, watery lights cast onto the floor of the aquarium’s viewing areas. To create this required a smooth, light reflective surface, from global resin flooring experts Flowcrete, which was installed using unique application techniques.
This effect is most dramatically created in the main entrance room, which is lit up with flickering lightspots across the floor. This effect is produced by lamp light falling in waves onto the flat resin surface, adding to the visitor’s impression of having been transported beneath the ocean.
The chosen floor also had to be strong, reliable, easy to maintain and able to withstand heavy and continuous traffic from the 800,000 anticipated annual visitors.
Jukka Kaikkonen, Managing Director for Flowcrete Sweden, said: “The aquarium’s unique design perfectly encapsulates the spirit of its purpose and it is set to become one of Denmark’s most iconic buildings.
“A project like this entails some difficult challenges. For example the building needs to withstand 600 tons of pressure created by a massive ocean aquarium and also include a 16 metre glass tunnel!
“It also required a smooth and durable flooring system that would match the appearance of the building whilst providing vital functionality. Flowcrete solutions are the ideal choice in this situation thanks to their ability to combine a decorative coating with hard-wearing credentials.”
To create the desired finish 6,600m² of Flowcrete Group flooring solutions were installed throughout the aquarium. 5,000m² of the highly resistant, epoxy resin coating Flowcoat TL was used in the public areas and technical rooms of the building and 1,200m² of Flowseal EPW was installed in the stairwells to ensure an easy to maintain, dust free environment. 200m² of the sealer Peran WW was also installed along the walls of the aquarium to provide a hygienic yet simultaneously attractive, gloss finish.
This combination of systems created a smooth, solvent-free, anti-slip floor surface with a crisp colour that would be able to retain its appearance and functionality in the face of heavy use.
These high performance coatings can also withstand chemicals and abrasions without deteriorating. The seamless, hard-wearing properties of Flowcrete’s solutions makes them a hygienic but low maintenance choice, as dirt can be easily removed from the surface and won’t be caught in cracks or gaps in the floor.
The Blue Planet opened in March 2013 and soon won the Completed Building Display category award at the World Architecture Festival 2013.
Located on the seafront of the island of Amager, the unique shape of the building connects the sea to the land, with pools of water flowing up the sweeping facade which is covered in silver plates that reflects the sky like the sea.
7 million litres of water and 20,000 animals, including hammerhead sharks and moray eels, are contained within the five circulating arms of the building – which is not only an eye-catching design but also highly functional, as each arm contains different themed exhibits and can have extensions built without impeding the other sections.
For more information please visit www.flowcrete.co.uk