London Aquarium

The Sea Life London Aquarium is located on the ground floor of County Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames in central London, near the EDF Energy London Eye. It first opened in March 1997 as the London Aquarium and remains the capital's largest collection of aquatic species and hosts about one million visitors each year.

History

In 2005, the aquarium displayed three robotic fish created by the computer science department at the University of Essex. The fish were designed to autonomous, swimming around and avoiding obstacles like real fish. Their creator claimed that he was trying to combine "the speed of tuna, acceleration of a pike, and the navigating skills of an eel."

In April 2008, the aquarium was purchased by the world's second-largest attractions operator, Merlin Entertainments for an undisclosed sum. The facility was closed for major refurbishments at a cost of £5 million, which were completed in April 2009. Among the additions included a new underwater tunnel, Shark Walk, revamped Pacific Ocean tank and a complete rerouting of the exhibit, all of which were carried out under the supervision of architects Kay Elliott. The attraction officially became a Sea Life Centre when it reopened in April 2009.

In May 2011, the aquarium opened a new penguin exhibit, with 8 gentoo penguins that were transferred from the Edinburgh Zoo.

Conservation and education

The aquarium includes two classrooms which themed around the conservation campaigns which the zoo supports, which host up to 40,000 school children each year, and are open to the public when not in use by the eduction program. It is involved in several breeding programs including the Cuban crocodile, seahorses, butterfly goodeids, and jellyfish, and works with many conservation organizations including Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Save Our Seas, Shark Trust, Rainforest Concern, Earth Sea Sky, and South Pacific Projects.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com