Bowman Global Change has designed a new exhibition featuring rescued Magellanic penguins for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif.
The June Keyes Penguin Habitat presents a naturalistic environment that maximizes the visitor’s opportunity to observe and interact with the charismatic Magellanic penguins and includes interactive elements that help visitors learn about the diversity of penguin species and the life histories of the aquarium’s penguin inhabitants. The design has contributed to the popularity of the new exhibit.
“Everyone loves watching penguins, and this habitat gives visitors up-close views above and below the water of our birds. Our goal is both to educate and entertain visitors, to help them understand penguins and the issues that affect their survival in the wild,” said Jerry Schubel, president and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific.
Designed in collaboration with Ed Hackley Design and inspired by an actual breeding site
for Magellanic penguins along the southern coast of Chile, the 3,000-square-foot outdoor exhibit features high cliffs on one side and a rocky beach with nesting burrows on the other.
Tom Bowman, president of Bowman Global Change, worked with aquarium scientists to develop interactive exhibit elements, including the story of how some of the aquarium’s first penguins were rescued from Brazil, where they were stranded far outside their native habitat. Behind-the-scenes features include nesting burrows and animal-care areas designed to meet animal-husbandry requirements.
Visitors can interact with the penguins as they follow guests moving along the uninterrupted 40-foot viewing window. A second window is undercut and allows visitors to observe the penguins from below as they swim or stand overhead. The design facilitates views of the penguins on land as well, with a long, deep swimming area that positions the beach and nesting area close to the viewing window.