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Karlovac Freshwater Aquarium and Museum of Rivers

Karlovac Freshwater Aquarium and Museum of Rivers

Karlovac, Croatia | View Map
Project Year
Individual Buildings

Urban Green Spaces

Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersSto AG
ManufacturersDupont Corian

Product Spec Sheet
by Sika
by Duravit
by Sto AG
by Holcim

Karlovac Freshwater Aquarium - a new city focal point and a tourist attraction

3LHD as Architects

The Karlovac freshwater aquarium is located by the river Korana. Inspired by the city’s historic center surrounded by defensive earthen walls and mounds, the aquarium building is embedded in the natural environment, and covered with greenery. The goal was to form a new city focal point, to validate the promenade and make a new tourist attraction. A square area is defined in the center of the building, and all of the facilities surround it: exhibition, reading room with a cafe bar and office spaces. The aquarium exhibition displays the flow of a karst river, its flora, fauna and biodiversity. It starts with a water surface on the square, and continues inside the building with a system of ramps that wind like a river down into the basement level. Aquariums are placed along, above and below the visitor paths. After the upper part of a river the sounds quiet down and visitors plunge into caves that feature endemic species. Subsequently, the visitors arrive to an aquarium with larger specimens of rare species. The symbolic river emerges from the underground to the surface. The visitors can observe the fish and aquatic plants that live in warmer parts of the riverbed from the sides and then from underneath as they walk into a tunnel that evokes immersion into a river. A series of aquariums with water lilies and rushes represent marshy habitats of a river. The exhibition ends with a system of cascading aquariums whose biotopes display waterfalls and a travertine barrier. Finally, a stairway and an elevator return the visitors to the entrance hall through the gift shop. A space for analysis of the technological parameters of water, a scientific research center and fish acclimatization spaces are located in the center of the layout. Karlovac freshwater aquarium is co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund under the “Regional Competitiveness” 2007-2013 Operational Programme. The total value of the project is 36.691.939,28 Kuna’s, of which the grant from the European Regional Development Fund is 36,222,282.45 Kuna’s.

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