By: Terry Meier, Sales Representative – Architectural Products
Will Rogers would often comment that “you never get a 2nd chance to make a good 1st impression.”
As you walk through the entrance of the newly constructed Living Planet Aquarium, in Draper Utah, the 1st thing that catches your eye are huge life sized replicas of a 32 foot long whale shark and 3 manta rays. They are suspended from the ceiling high above the crowds of people as they enter the complex. Their immediate image as you enter does indeed make a good 1st impression.
The $18.5 million, 136,000 sq ft educational facility houses over 74 exhibits and over 5000 animals. The aquarium uses approximately a million gallons of water. It is the 9th largest aquarium in the United States.
The life size fish replicas at the entrance to the aquarium and many of the exhibits throughout the facility are carved from EPS foam shapes. Ari Robinson, an artist and designer who played a key role in the design of the facility said that “the exhibits were made primarily from Geofoam, mesh and shotcrete.”
EPS foam shapes were used primarily because it is light weight, inexpensive and very easy to carve and shape into just about any desired three- dimensional shape. After the foam has been carved to the desired shape it can then be dyed, coated, textured and painted to replicate just about anything, even fish!
Learn more about EPS foam architectural shapes.