Mote Aquarium

Architectural design for marine research facility and aquarium

In designing a significant new home for the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, CambridgeSeven drew on the ocean for inspiration in creating the rippled form of the dramatic exterior, rising from a causeway in Sarasota’s Benderson Park. The design of the new aquarium incorporates technology inside and out, with the exterior skin of the building designed to show projections of ocean-themed images at night, sparking interest of visitors. On the interior, CambridgeSeven’s design integrates traditional aquarium tanks and habitats with hands-on activities and augmented reality exhibits, creating an immersive experience for Mote visitors rooted in the marine research mission of Mote. The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is designed to facilitate access to marine science and technology, fostering ocean literacy. The 135,000 sf complex will feature sharks, manatees, sea turtles and river otters, with a focus that stretches from local Florida ecosystems, illustrated through coral reef, mangrove habitats and touch tanks with rays and invertebrates, to the open ocean and the shark research for which Mote is famous. With a focus on education and public engagement, the new home for Mote will also feature interactive science exhibits, classrooms and lab spaces, outdoor science trails, and a range of visitor amenities.