As one of the top attractions on the Oregon Coast year after year, the Oregon Coast Aquarium features both indoor and outdoor exhibits incorporating geological formations, native plants, a sea-bird aviary, aquatic habitats of marine wildlife, interactive exhibits, theaters, and touch pools.
1st Place, People’s Choice Award, AIA Portland, 1992
Presidential Award, ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Oregon, 1992
Excellence in Concrete Award, Oregon Concrete & Aggregate Association, 1993
International Honor Award, Waterfront Society of America, 1992
Design Build Merit Award, AON Build America
Situated on 16 acres along the central Oregon coast, this 37,000 SF aquarium features indoor and outdoor experiences of the coastal environment indigenous to Oregon. The design of the aquarium traces the journey of a drop of water from the Coast Range into the Pacific Ocean. An interpretive trail wanders through carefully recreated aquatic habitats, where sea birds, harbor seals, octopus, sea otters, and numerous other marine creatures live and play.
In 1996, a two million-gallon tank was constructed on the aquarium site for the rehabilitation of the celebrity killer whale, Keiko. When Keiko’s departure left the tank empty, it was redesigned to house an acrylic tube that penetrates the center of the tank to immerse visitors in exhibits that explore the depths of the ocean environment. The exhibit sequence transitions to other aquarium exhibits through a structure housing a gallery, event room, gift shop and support areas.