WCS Newsroom

The Wonders of the WCS NY Aquarium: An Ongoing Picture Blog

January 20, 2017

The above photo, taken on an overcast day in January, shows the structural steel in place for supporting the future Shimmer Wall. Adjustments and modifications are in the process of being made before cabling is installed to hold the 33,000 aluminum panels that will be the most prominent feature of the building's facade. Credit: NYA OWS Site Camera January 18, 2017


January 13, 2017

When construction is complete, these graphics now emblazoned on the side of Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will be alternately screened and revealed by the movement of the Shimmer Wall. Inside, work continues to progress on the building’s tanks, life-support systems, and other features.


December 23, 2016

The above picture shows Ocean Wonders: Sharks! on a sunny, late fall day. The building’s exterior precast concrete panels and attachment points for the shimmer wall are now in place. Work on the building’s roof continues to progress. Photo Credit: NYA Site Camera


November 25, 2016

Work on the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exterior continues to progress. Finishing touches are being added to the WCS New York Aquarium logo on the façade of the building, while the last of the precast panels are being placed. These are some of the final steps before work on the Shimmer Wall framework begins.
Photo Credit: © Tim Macy


October 28, 2016

Work on Ocean Wonders: Sharks! continues to move along. Crews are working on prepping the building’s precast panels to receive the framework for the future Shimmer Wall that will span 1,100 feet and wrap the outside of the building with 30,000 movable aluminum tiles.
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


Sept 23, 2016

The installation of the precast concrete panels is almost complete on the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exterior. The next major milestone will be the installation of the steel framework that will eventually hold the building’s Shimmer Wall a beautiful piece of kinetic artwork which will span 1,100 feet and wrap the outside of the building with 30,000 movable aluminum tiles.


August 26 2016

Above is a recent photo of the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! construction site. The next major milestone will be the installation of the steel framework that will eventually hold the building’s artistically designed shimmer wall.


August 12, 2016

Construction crews are installing custom-made precast concrete panels that will become the exterior finish of Ocean Wonders: Sharks! The panels vary in shape and size and give the building a more uniform color and surface. Once this façade is complete, the next step is the installation of a structure that wraps the building made up of over 30,000 square aluminum tiles will shimmer and move with the ocean breeze.


June 24, 2016

Positioning of pre-cast concrete panels are continuing to go on the exterior of Ocean Wonders: Sharks! This photo shows the building with insulation panels applied prior to installation of the precast, looming over the Coney Island Boardwalk construction wall.


May 13, 2016

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will feature a shipwreck exhibit that will be home to sharks and other large predators and fish that can be found in NYC waters and local shipwrecks. The above photo shows the progress of the exhibit, highlighting base and support structures that will eventually turn into a replica of a hulking shipwreck. Shipwrecks in the ocean not only embody the deep maritime history of our local waters, but also serve as aggregators of marine life, providing shelter and food for many kinds of fish. Photo: Ray Davis


April 29, 2016

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will be an architectural masterpiece both inside and out. The above picture shows the building's dome room under construction. When complete, a beautiful metal mobile featuring shark silhouettes will hang from the room's ceiling. Photo: Ray Davis


April 1, 2016

A view from Ocean Wonders: Sharks! When complete, visitors will be able to see the boardwalk from the building’s top floor, where there will be a classroom called the Learning Laboratory and a rooftop restaurant that will serve sustainable seafood and drinks with a view! Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


March 18, 2016

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! rises beside the Coney Island boardwalk on a clear late-winter day. Inside, work continues on the building’s future exhibits. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


March 11, 2016

A seagull soars above the work site on a clear winter day in the above picture. Inside the building, work continues to move along. Life-support technology is being installed and back-of-house finish walls are going up. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


February 2, 2016

As visitors exit the 8-foot wide, 40-foot long Coral Reef Tunnel, they enter the Coral Reef Rotunda, pictured here, which will focus on the important role of sharks in keeping coral reefs healthy. Photo: Muni Abdullah© WCS


January 15, 2016

Happy New Year from the WCS New York Aquarium. We are looking forward to continuing with progress on Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Much of the work these days is taking place inside the building. This photo shows the massive, curved acrylic window of the Canyon’s Edge exhibit, which will feature marine life native to the Hudson Canyon, the East Coast’s largest submarine canyon. Visitors will have an amazing visual seeing beautiful sharks, rays, and schooling fish. Photo: Ray Davis


December 31, 2015

This is our last photo of the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! work site until next year. The building is the large structure against the boardwalk. Progress was made quickly and efficiently in 2015. Most of what is left for the outside of the building includes decorative precast concrete panels, the wrap-around shimmer wall, lighting, and other details that will turn the building into a beauty on the boardwalk once it opens. Photo: Muni Abdullah © WCS


December 18, 2015

The above photo shows an aerial view of the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! work site. Plumbing and life-support lines are being laid, and electrical wiring continues to be installed. Photo: Muni Abdullah © WCS


December 11, 2015

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! is transforming into an architectural marvel each day. The above picture shows the base structure for the building’s beautiful spiral entry. Photo: Muni Abdullah © WCS


November 27, 2015

The coral reef tunnel in Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will have artificial corals that create a beautiful reef-like home for the animals that will live there. The above picture shows a model made by staff from WCS’s Exhibit and Graphic Arts Department. Coral creation starts with a small, six-inch clay-like model like this, followed by a precise process of designing, crafting, and installing life-size pieces into the building. Once complete, our coral reef will be a colorful world filled with replica corals of different kinds and majestic marine life that will amaze all who visit. Photo: Lauren Anker


November 20, 2015

The above photo shows a cownose ray gracefully gliding through its Glover’s Reef habitat at the New York Aquarium. Rays such as this one will be among the 115 species of sharks, skates, rays and other fish that will live in Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Other kinds of elasmobranchs – cartilaginous fish with several rows of teeth – that will be on exhibit include sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, nurse sharks, and roughtail rays. Photo: Barbara Russo © WCS


November 13, 2015

The Hudson Canyon is the East Coast's largest submarine canyon, located just 100 miles off New York's coast and New York Harbor. Here, deep-sea coral communities line the ocean floor, creating an ecosystem that is important to the healthy functioning of the Atlantic. Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will have an exhibit dedicated to this magnificent marine habitat, entitled the Canyon's Edge. The above photos show the exhibit in the process of being built, and what it will look like when complete. Left photo: © WCS; Right photo: © The Portico Group;


November 6, 2015

Did you know that New York waters are home to more than 60 shipwrecks? These fascinating structures not only embody the deep maritime history of our local waters, but also serve as aggregators of marine life, providing shelter and food for many kinds of fish including cod, blackfish, and sharks. Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will feature a space inspired by the USS San Diego, which sank off the coast of Fire Island in 1918. The exhibit will be home to sharks and other large predators and fish that can be found in NYC waters and in these shipwrecks. The above photos show a rendering of the future exhibit and the construction progress made to date, which includes the building of partitions and exhibit walls. Left photo: © WCS; Right photo: © The Portico Group;


October 30, 2015

The above photos show the work being done on the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! New York Bight exhibit, as well as a rendering of what it will look like when work is complete. Crews continue to make good progress on its construction: Partitions, exhibit walls, and viewing windows have been placed. Life support and other utility systems continue to be installed. When complete, the exhibit will be home to many kinds of shark and other fish that can be found in NYC’s local waters. Left photo: © WCS; Right photo: © The Portico Group;


October 16, 2015

The seasons are changing, and the air is slowly starting to get crisper and cooler. The above photo shows a view of the Atlantic from the classroom area of Ocean Wonders: Sharks! on a clear day in early autumn. From inside the rooftop classroom and restaurant, visitors will enjoy a breathtaking look at the Coney Island shoreline, the New York Aquarium campus, and of course, the majestic Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Muni Abdullah © WCS


October 8, 2015

Work on the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! site continues to move along. Because of its architectural beauty and complexity, much of the artistic work being crafted for the building is taking place off site. This includes the eye-catching shark mobile, pictured above, that shows visitors how sharks are important apex predators in the intricately balanced coral reef ecosystem. The mobile will be made out of 48 aluminum graphics supported by stainless steel rods. When complete, it will weigh an impressive 500 pounds. Photo: Kimio Honda © WCS


September 25, 2015

The Ocean Wonders: Sharks! building is pictured here with a blue waterproofing that crews are applying to protect the structure from the weather’s elements. The precast concrete skin and shimmer wall will eventually be installed to cover this. Since the building is on the shore facing the Atlantic Ocean, it is important to take the proper precautions to prevent its concrete surfaces from getting damaged by wind, rain, and sea water. Photo: WCS


September 14, 2015

The above picture shows the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! site on a beautiful clear day. Much progress has been made on the building’s exterior. The walkway ramp that wraps most of the building is almost complete and usable, while the building’s top floors are constructed and ready for interior work. Inside, crews are continuing to hydro test tanks, all of which will ultimately be home to more than 115 species, including sharks, skates, and rays. Photo credit: WCS


August 28, 2015

Work on the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! building continues to move along. The above picture shows hydrotesting being done on the building's largest tank, which will be part of the future Canyon's Edge exhibit. When complete, this majestic exhibit will showcase marine life that lives in the beautiful and complex communities of the Hudson Canyon, the East Coast's largest submarine canyon. Photo: William Flynn © Turner Construction


August 21, 2015

The above picture is a view of the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! project from the Coney Island beach. Passersby on the boardwalk are often seen peeking into the construction wall windows to get a glimpse of activity on the construction site. Crews continue to work diligently, making progress on the installation of plumbing and other building systems. Over the last month, large fiberglass reinforced plastic tanks have been installed. Photo: Muni Abdullah © WCS


August 11, 2015

The WCS New York Aquarium is renowned for its educational programming. Once Ocean Wonders: Sharks! is ready to open, the thousands of school children who visit the aquarium each year will enjoy a rooftop classroom that will include state-of-the-art learning technology and access to a touch tank containing aquatic animals representative of local species. Located on the building’s top floor and rising 60 feet above the boardwalk, the classroom will offer beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, like the one pictured in the rendering above. Photo: WCS.


July 30, 2015

​It’s summertime, and things continue to progress nicely for Ocean Wonders: Sharks! The above photo shows a massive sand filter, which has recently gone into place inside the building. Sand filters are just one part of the advanced filtration systems that will be part of the building. Sand filters are needed to keep the water pure and clean for the building’s exhibits, ensuring a healthy environment for the animals that will live there. Photo: Muni Abdullah © WCS

July 13, 2015

​Work on Ocean Wonders: Sharks! is continuing, not just on the outside, but inside too. WCS and Turner Construction crews have started to fill the New York Bight tank, beginning the first phase of hydro testing to make sure it’s in tip-top shape before its residents move in. This particular exhibit will focus on the marine life that lives in the New York Bight, a 15,000-square-mile section of the Atlantic Ocean that ranges from Cape May, N.J., to Montauk, N.Y. Once Ocean Wonders: Sharks! opens, visitors will be able to see far into the bight from the building’s roof deck. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


July 7, 2015

WCS New York Aquarium staff and Turner Construction celebrated “the topping out,” of the construction of Ocean Wonders: Sharks! by raising the United States flag on the top floor of the building, shown in the picture above. The building is really beginning to take shape. Coney Island Boardwalk-goers often stop and take in the view, while aquarium staff is starting to see Ocean Wonders: Sharks! renderings come to life. When complete, the 57,000-square-foot building will be a destination for education and conservation programming, with important benefits for the economy of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and all of New York City. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

About

The Wonders of the WCS NY Aquarium: An Ongoing Picture Blog is a photographic series that follows the ongoing transformation of the WCS New York Aquarium. At the centerpiece of this transformation is Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, a 57,000-square-foot building that will house more than 115 species of marine wildlife, including sharks, skates, and rays. The series features construction milestones and other important activity happening throughout the aquarium’s renaissance.

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will be a destination for education and conservation programming, with important benefits for the economy of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and all of New York City.

This blog is curated and written by Barbara Russo, Assistant Director, Communications – New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. Please send questions and comments about the blog to brusso@wcs.org.