The Monterey Bay Aquarium was awarded the 2016 Twenty-five Year Award by the AIA. This award, recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, is conferred on a project that has stood the test of time for 30+ years to date. The aquarium opened in 1984 and continues to be one of California’s most-visited tourist attractions. The aquarium is located directly on Monterey Bay, where seawater, airborne salts, and the marine environment, both internally and externally, take a significant toll on the facility’s infrastructure. Key to the Aquarium’s durability has been a commitment to ongoing investment in infrastructure renewal. Every 5 years since 1999, Ballinger has sent an expert team to comprehensively assess every aspect of the facility – from the roofs and concrete decks to the huge seawater tank exhibits to the life support systems infrastructure. Working closely with the Aquarium’s planning and physical plant staff, a comprehensive 5-year renewal spending plan results. Ballinger is very proud of our role in helping the Monterey Bay Aquarium fulfill its ever evolving mission to protect our marine environment.
The AIA jury called the project “a brilliant, gritty adaptive reuse, and still at the forefront of interactive museum space.”