The Port of San Diego is to undergo a $1.5 billion transformation including the construction of a 178,000-square-foot aquarium designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).
Seaport San Diego is a planned 70-acre waterside development currently in its conceptual design phase. It is intended to revitalise an area currently filled with car parks, old attractions and a fish processing facility.
In addition to the aquarium, the plan includes a 500-foot-tall observation tower called The Spire with gondolas circling its base as well as a tropical rainforest habitat for butterflies that also offers 3D immersive nature experiences.
Besides the attractions, the development will include beaches and a tidal pool, hotels, retail space, a charter school, an aquaculture facility, a boardwalk and more dockage.
Parking for the new area will be below ground, under the water table. The design includes a resiliency plan for future sea level rises with everything from the entrance’s location to placement of electrical systems affected.
An earthquake fault was also recently discovered in the area and the development team is still looking into the effect this may have on its plans. Despite this possible setback they hope to break ground in 2021 with construction completed by 2024 or 2025.
In the cover letter to the proposal Yehudi Gaffen, Partner at Protea, said: “Sydney has its Opera House, London has the Eye and even South Boston transformed its downtrodden waterfront into a world-class destination. It’s high time for San Diego to shine with a beacon of its own: Seaport.
“When visitors from around the globe experience the multi-sensory venue that is Seaport, there will be a powerful sense of arrival. The stage will be set for bold-faced architecture, multi-platform affordable hospitality, and vibrant attractions that are sophisticated, approachable and family-friendly. Seaport will look to the future with an iconic aquarium, while paying homage to the rich heritage of San Diego with a vibrant fishing harbour.”
Images: Seaport San Diego