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New England Aquarium adds glass-walled marine mammal exhibit

Minimally framed glazing delivers protected views of Boston Harbor and new northern fur seal pool

Interior splash protection wall makes optimum use of high-clarity DuPont™ SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer in an open-edged design.
Exterior wind screen, also made with SentryGlas®, features point-supported framing placed to maximize harbor views.

(Text courtesy of JE Berkowitz, LP)

Home to the Northern Fur Seal, the Marine Mammal Center at the New England Aquarium is open for business and creating quite a splash. The outdoor exhibit area, surrounded by wood and glass, introduces the perfect environment for the aquarium’s long anticipated new addition. The exhibit is surrounded by a stunning glass windscreen and glass panel system that was fabricated by JE Berkowitz, LP.

Bordering the Boston Harbor, the New England Aquarium offers visitors several attractions including penguins, sea dragons, sand tiger sharks, and octopus, but the newest attraction is the Marine Mammal Center. New Balance Foundation contributed $3 million to the construction of the $10 million center with the goal to motivate children to engage in the mammal’s natural fitness program. The center’s latest program "Move It!" is designed to teach you how to move like a mammal.

This new exhibit space was custom designed by McManus Architects of Cambridge, MA. General Contractor Turner Construction oversaw the construction. The center connects with Harbor Walk, which allows visitors to observe and enjoy the intriguing animals from inside and outside the structure. The space boasts a large mammal pool surrounded by wood pathways and benches. Glass panels protect the mammals, while all glass windscreens shield the visitors from the elements. John McManus, Principal of McManus Architects wrote, "We are proud of the built structure and appreciative of the importance of the glazing system."

Structural interlayer adds strength and stability in exposed edges

JE Berkowitz and Glazing Contractor, Tower Glass of Woburn, MA worked together to fabricate the glass enclosures for the Marine Mammal Center. This included protective glass panels around the mammal pool with custom C.R. Laurence hardware and clamps. The glass windscreen encapsulating the perimeter was secured in place with custom C.R. Laurence heavy spider fittings, mounted to stainless steel posts. All the glass consists of ¼-in. clear tempered glass with .060-in. SentryGlas® interlayer and ¼-in. clear tempered glass. The DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayer was chosen for its added strength and superb edge stability in an exterior exposed edge application. “JEB came thru on deliveries and the quality of their glass. There was a big push to get this done before the July 1st deadline,” mentioned Charlie Cappello of Tower Glass.

"Projects like these, that take advantage of our capabilities in point-supported systems and CNC fabrication, help us stay the course of our strategic business plan in these interesting times," says Robert Price, Director of Sales at JE Berkowitz, LP