The National Aquarium in Baltimore sits on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S. Hoping to engage visitors more fully with this important waterway, the aquarium engaged SPS to work with landscape architect firm Ayers Saint Gross in developing visitor experiences along a public walkway that encircles the aquarium’s buildings on Piers 3 and 4. The site provides striking views across the Inner Harbor and back to the city, along with abundant access to the water for exhibits that explore the environment.
In addition to their similar waterfront sites, the National Aquarium and the Exploratorium share a deep respect for learners: both seek to enhance people’s abilities to notice, explore, and affect their places in the world. Working with the aquarium, SPS draws on the Exploratorium’s long history of inquiry-based exhibit development and experiential place-making. Along with ASG, we’re melding our experience with the aquarium’s focus on conservation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to develop a plan blending exhibits, architecture, and interpretive elements into an experiential narrative.