Exploris Aquarium

This project involved the modernisation and refurbishment of the external and internal areas of the Exploris aquarium, café and gift shop.

This project involved the modernisation and refurbishment of the external and internal areas of the Exploris aquarium, café and gift shop. The work was carried out in three separate phases across eleven separate areas, with a specialist nautical designer employed to undertake the theming works.

The reception and exhibition areas required a complete strip-out and replacement of all existing furniture, fixtures, equipment, flooring, and walling, all made suitably moisture resistant for maximum longevity. In addition, repair works were carried out to the roof and external elevations.

New and refurbished fish tanks were installed together with extensive theming works and life support systems..

Externally a new otter enclosure was constructed, clad with timber to create a more natural feel, in stark contrast to the existing raw concrete walls. New glass balustrades, complete with stainless steel handrails were fitted, to enclose the new otter feature pool, while new external steps were formed to provide access to the existing decking area, to act as a relaxing viewing point for the public.

Finally, the existing shop and café area were refurbished to comply with current regulations; these works included new rubber flooring, new handrails and tread in-fills to the existing staircases.

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Exploris Aquarium
Location: The Rope Walk, Castle Street, Portaferry BT22 1NZ
Client: Ards and North Down Borough Council
Value: £1.3m
Duration: 5 months
Type of work: Design & Build
Completion: July 2017

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