McCarthy Building Companies Completes Construction of OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale
PHOENIX, AZ McCarthy Building Companies completes construction of the highly-anticipated 200,000 square-foot OdySea Aquarium, located at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona. Construction of the aquarium, the largest in the Southwest, began in March 2015 and was completed in only 18-months.
Poised to be one of Arizona's premiere attractions, the OdySea Aquarium offers unrivaled marine adventures with a high-tech, high-entertainment, oceanic educational journey like no other in the industry. The 14-acre attraction, which spans 200,000 square feet with two public exhibit levels and a third level for aquarium operations, was designed to accommodate up to 15,000 visitors daily.
OdySea Aquarium's structure involved McCarthy pouring more than 12,000-cubic-yards of concrete for its structural footings; 16 cast-in-place concrete aquatic tanks; 121 individual concrete structural columns; and 72 concrete tilt wall panels, which were assembled over eight days on-site and placed using a 300-ton tilt plane crawler crane. The largest panel placed weighs 220,000 pounds and is 60 feet high.
Construction of the expansive structure also included the installation of two million pounds of steel and 1,198 beams; 5,455 linear feet of massive acrylic observation windows; and exhibits that hold more than 1.5 million gallons of water. The gigantic acrylic windows create unique observation tunnels within the aquarium, which visitors walk through and ride through on an escalator. The 48 exhibits are maintained by 300 pumps and more than 42,000 linear feet of piping, including 11,000 linear feet of piping installed below grade.
"OdySea was a highly-technical construction project that required us to combine our industrial expertise with virtual design technology and applications to achieve the owner's vision of large-scale aquatic displays and a structure with virtually no straight lines," said Michael Gonzalez, Director for McCarthy. "And, thanks to our self-perform concrete and mechanical construction teams, McCarthy was able to adhere to the aggressive schedule, and today we are delivering the community a premier attraction they will enjoy for years to come."
OdySea was developed by founders Amram Knishinsky, Ph.D., and Martin Pollack.
Built on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community, the project design also incorporates native culture into the facility, including a "man in the maze" featured in the courtyard, handrails inspired by ancient basket-weaving techniques, and tilt panels depicting rain, oceans and earth.
OdySea also boasts the SeaTREK experience that allows guests to descend deep into the "ocean" where they are surrounded by sea life on all sides. There is also a state-of-the-art 3D theater for educational features on aquatic life, and exhibits including Rivers of the World, American Rivers, Amazon Rivers, Shores, the Great Barrier Reef, Penguins, Sharks, Red Panda and "the Bizarre & the Beautiful" featuring jellyfish, octopus, large king crabs and seahorses. The facility also includes a Lighthouse CafÃ© serving a full menu and light snacks, and the OdySea Treasures Gift Shop.