The need for more light on Battery Park City’s southern end sparked a one of a kind idea for the design team working on the park’s interior. The thought of an aquatic carousel to conjure The Battery’s history as the first home of the New York Aquarium started to take shape and The SeaGlass story began. Located on the original site of the New York Aquarium in Battery Park, this state-of-the-art carousel features a marine-themed, multimedia presentation within a spiral (nautilus shell) shaped steel and glass pavilion.
About the Project
LiRo provided construction management services for the entire project, which included mechanical systems, architectural components, and the ride mechanism. The attraction has been designed to simulate a trip to the ocean floor, and riders sit within one of 30 iridescent fiberglass fish that move in several directions on four rotating tracks. Fiber optic and LED lights glow from within each fish, transforming the space into an array of colors during the ride. An oceanic soundtrack plays simultaneously, providing a full theatrical experience. The design of the carousel enclosure was inspired by the chambered nautilus, a sea animal that lives within a spiral shell. The multilayered steel structure, mimicking the shape of the nautilus, has glass inserts that will change in color from clear to cobalt blue as the imaginary sea descent occurs.
The project was funded by The Battery Conservancy with assistance from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. WXY Architecture designed the structure in a collaborative effort with set designer George Tsypin. The carousel opened to the public on August 20, 2015 and remains a popular, immersive experience for tourists and New Yorkers.