Museums | Facilities | Shedd Aquarium |

Oceanarium

John G. Shedd Aquarium | Chicago, IL | 2009

The lighting design transports the visitor to the habitats of the aquatic and plant life in the exhibit by providing an environment that mimics that of the natural world.

What It Was

The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has “re-imagined” its Oceanarium. Originally built in 1991, the Oceanarium improvements immerse visitors more deeply in the vibrant Pacific Northwest coastal eco-system, encouraging them to discover how animals are linked to each other, their homes, and to people.

What We Did

The lighting design transports the visitor to the habitats of the aquatic and plant life in the exhibit by providing an environment that mimics that of the natural world. Visitors can feel the “sunlight” streaming through the trees, see the infinity-edge pool as it blends seamlessly with our beautiful Lake Michigan and experience nature in a way that only the Shedd Aquarium and Lightswitch Architectural can create.

Why It Worked

The lighting design overcomes the challenges of animal needs, intense daylight and a humid, corrosive salt-water environment. The lighting not only illuminates the space but also provides a healthy environment for the animals so that they can thrive while teaching visitors about oceanic life. Technology and creativity combine to create a spectacular, comfortable and energy-efficient space. 2010 IES Illumination Awards Section Award Recipient