National Aquarium Blacktip Reef

Baltimore, MD

National Aquarium Baltimore Exhibit - CambridgeSeven

Offering exciting vantage points for a true shark tank experience to inspire better stewardship and understanding of the fragile Indo-Pacific reefs.

National Aquarium Baltimore Exhibit - CambridgeSeven
National Aquarium Baltimore Exhibit - CambridgeSeven
National Aquarium Baltimore Exhibit - CambridgeSeven

The Project

As one of our legacy projects, the National Aquarium in Baltimore approached us to help renovate the aging main ocean tank into their new Great Barrier Reef habitat. This showcase exhibit would replicate the unique coral world of hundreds of aquatic animals and educate visitors on those popular, yet misunderstood, predators: sharks.

The Approach

Because the main tank required extensive structural repairs, we were able to reimagine the visitor experience in a more immersive and interactive way. Sections of the original exhibit space became an introductory gallery. The five-story tank was punctuated with viewing portals and traversed by walkways and cantilevered viewing platforms, dramatically improving visitor access to the exhibit.

The Result

The largest of its kind in the world, the new exhibit has transformed the visitor’s experience from a passive observer to an active participant. Interactive exhibits along the introductory gallery invite guests to learn about their connectivity to the world’s waters. The central Blacktip Reef exhibit is revealed in a breathtaking kaleidoscope of color, light and movement.  Because of the variety of views into the tank, visitors can experience mesmerizing vantage points from above, below, and practically within, getting up close and personal with the resident attraction, blacktip sharks.





blacktip reef sharks


gallons of water



5 stories

visitors annually


2014 Significant Achievement Award for Exhibit Design

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

With changes like this, we're able to employ new technologies that make the exhibit more interesting, more exciting and more educational, more of a learning experience.

John Racanelli, President and CEO, National Aquarium

Team Leaders

Related Projects View All Projects