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Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium Reopen in New Orleans Under One Roof

blooloop. - June 13, 2023

Audubon Insectarium - CambridgeSeven

New Orleans’ Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium have reopened under one roof after an eight-month, $41 million renovation and expansion.

The US aquarium closed in November for the renovation, while the insectarium shut its doors in 2020 during the pandemic.

The two institutions are now known as the Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium following a project designed by architecture firm Eskew Dumez Ripple in collaboration with architects and exhibit designers CambridgeSeven.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Insectarium - CambridgeSeven

“This project was a true collaboration between client, architect, exhibit, and construction teams,” said Haley Robinson, project architect for Eskew Dumez Ripple.

Peter Sollogub, CambridgeSeven design principal for the development, said the project’s “vision and completion represent commitment and collaboration at its finest, using creativity, storytelling and exploration to transmit nature’s wonder and wow to its community”.

The redesigned insectarium is housed on the aquarium building’s second floor. Other new additions also include a butterfly garden with flowering plants, a waterfall and a moth vivarium.

$41m renovation and expansion

Additionally, the main entrance lobby and ticketing area have been relocated, one gallery has become a bayou experience, and two new gift shops have been introduced.

“We’re teaching young people to love the environment,” Ron Forman, president and CEO of the Audubon Nature Institute, told NOLA.com.

“Bugs and fish and reptiles and mammals are all an important part of the Earth that we need to protect for the next generation.”

Audubon Insectarium - CambridgeSeven

“We hope that we generate positive enthusiasm and wonder for the natural world that people take with them,” added Zachary Lemann, curator of animal collections at the insectarium.

“If we do our job, people think about and care about and act on behalf of the natural world in a way they wouldn’t have before they visited us.”

Elsewhere, Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida has started building its new centre for manatee rehabilitation.

Lead image credit: Eskew Dumez Ripple

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