The New England Aquarium is a public aquarium located in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. With a mission of “protecting the blue planet”, the aquarium welcomes well over 1 million guests every year and supports ocean research and conservation around the world.
The New England Aquarium was the first modern aquarium in the U.S., opening to the public in 1969. This was the first step in a larger plan to bring the dilapidated Boston waterfront back to life, and in the decades since the aquarium first opened its doors, the waterfront has transformed into one of the most bustling parts of the city. Designed by Cambridge architect Peter Chermayeff, who would go on to design some of the world's premier aquariums, the brutalist concrete building with its cavernous interior was centered around the 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank. Although the building and its exhibits have undergone multiple renovations and expansions over the aquarium’s history, the original “Dark Magic Box” from the 60s remains largely intact.
Fortunately, brutalist architecture lends itself beautifully to Lego, and that is what inspired this Idea. The New England Aquarium Lego set represents its long history: the front faithfully recreates the concrete façade of the building as it appeared when the aquarium first opened in 1969, including the original harbor seal pool. Turn the model around and you are transported forward in time to the present, with the interior and “exhibits” in their present configuration.
All of the aquarium’s four galleries – Tropical, Temperate, Freshwater, and Northern Waters – are represented on the opposite side of the façade, as well as the popular Shark and Ray Touch Tank. The focal point, of course, is a cross-section of the cylindrical Giant Ocean Tank. Minifigure visitors can climb its spiral ramp to see the tank's Caribbean coral reef from every angle. Within, fish and diver swim among colorful corals, and Myrtle the green sea turtle gets a snack at the surface. The Giant Ocean Tank (and the the tray at its base full of personable penguins) can slide in and out of the model to allow easy access to the galleries. Even the animal care and medical teams make an appearance on the fifth floor, where two endangered penguins from the aquarium’s colony have laid an egg!
Through the creative use of just over 2,500 Lego pieces, this build seeks to capture the magic and inspiration of a trip to the New England Aquarium, an architectural and cultural landmark in Boston, Massachusetts.
Previews rendered using BrickLink Studio 2.0