Costa Edutainment SpA
The Genoa Aquarium has the richest display of aquatic biodiversity in Europe.
Over 70 environments and about 12,000 specimens of 600 species, from all the oceans of the world. From rare specimens such as manatees, the mythical sirens, to dolphins; from penguins to sharks. Jellyfish, seals and colourful tropical fish.
In 2008, Costa Edutainment SpA decided to give new, more generous spaces to the cetaceans (www.acquariodigenova.it/padiglione-cetacei).
The architect Renzo Piano had to work alongside complex system specialists.
The design of the electrical and air conditioning systems for a new structure that, like a ship in reinforced concrete, had to be built far away, transported by sea to the Old Port of Genoa and then gently laid on the seabed alongside the Spinola pier.
They needed experience, professionalism, flexibility and dedication.
The prestigious project tempted many, but our specific experience in large aquariums was preferred, as had been demonstrated by the design of the electrical and air conditioning and water systems for the D. Cestoni Aquarium in Livorno
Keeping 4.5 million litres of water at the right temperature for the dolphins is a huge challenge when there is restricted space for the power systems.
Renewable energy from the sea had to be extracted with heat pumps, but sea water corrodes and clogs the systems.
Another major challenge in designing the electrical systems was to find space for the transformation booth and to house machines and air ducts in the design of the air conditioning systems.
Thanks to dynamic energy modelling, it was possible to overcome these challenges!
Now, thanks to Planex and its designs for electrical and air conditioning and heating systems, when you enter the Cetacean Pavilion, your breath stops for a moment and your heart starts beating fast.
The four open-air tanks host a social group of coastal bottlenose dolphins.
An extraordinary window on the Cetacean Sanctuary, the largest protected marine area in the Mediterranean, which allows you to observe the dolphins up close thanks to a 24-metre glass wall and a striking underwater tunnel of about 15 metres length.
Location: Ponte degli Spinola – Genoa
Features: The new structure is located between the ship Italia and the main body, and is 23 metres high (like a seven-storey building), for the most part immersed in water, 94 metres long, 30 metres wide and houses four tanks with a total of 4800 cubic metres of water.
Work designed: systems: electrical power, summer and winter air conditioning, plumbing, fire protection, lighting, fire and gas detection, CCTV, phone and data network, automation and building management, cold and heat generation, heat recovery