Colorado's Ocean Journey Downtown Aquarium
A dynamic event, entertainment and dining complex that provides visitors with an interactive journey, tracing water’s travels from the mountains to the sea.
1999 Citation Award, American Institute of Architects, Colorado
1999 Citation Award, American Institute of Architects, Denver Chapter
Colorado's Ocean Journey
The Downtown Aquarium (originally Colorado’s Ocean Journey) is an interactive, public aquarium as well as an entertainment and dining complex that presents the story of water, its qualities and characteristics, and its journey from the mountains to the sea. The aquarium holds more than a million gallons of underwater exhibits, providing visitors with an immersive experience in which they may observe thousands of underwater species in habitats representative of global ecosystems.
The site within the Historic Platte River Valley reinforces the connection between the building and its relationship with water. Located near the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek at the edge of Downtown Denver, the building plays an important role in the on-going river park expansion and activation along with its neighbors, the Children’s Museum, Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, Coors Field baseball stadium, and the Pepsi Center sports Arena.
The exterior of the building and associated landscaping and programming connect with the river, framed by but set apart from the building’s urban setting. Outdoor exhibits and an amphitheater create spaces that contribute to the natural river’s edge, while creating meaningful places to stop along the River’s bike and pedestrian trail.
The Downtown Aquarium...presents the story of water, its qualities and characteristics, and its journey from the mountains to the sea through various fragile ecosystems and weather formations.