An impressive engineering operation has been carried out to create the centerpiece of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami. Created in one continuous concrete pour that took 24 hours and 49 minutes, the 500,000 gal (1,900,000 l) Gulf Stream Tank aquarium will be home to a number of deep sea species which visitors will be able to view from both top and bottom.
The creation of the cone-shaped Gulf Stream Tank, which forms part of a larger aquarium, is one part of the Miami Science Museum redevelopment as it becomes the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. The new museum has been designed by Grimshaw Architects.
As well as being able to look down into the open surface of the tank that is 100 ft (30 m) in diameter, visitors to the completed venue will be able to look up into it through an oculus that is 30 ft diameter. The oculus is reminiscent of the dome at New York's Fulton Center, which is also designed by Grimshaw.
To ensure the integrity of the tank once complete, the concrete had to be poured continuously. It took 120 truckloads to transport the 1,200 cu yd (920,000 l) of concrete required to form the structure. Crews then worked to spread the concrete over the 9,000 sq ft (836 sq m) surface area of the tank.
The tank walls vary between 28-in (71 cm) and 56-in (142 cm) of thickness and the structure also includes 370 tons (336 tonnes) of epoxy coated steel reinforcement and 700 high-strength post tensioning cables to prevent it from cracking.
Once completed, the Gulf Stream Tank will house hammerhead sharks, tuna, sea turtles and other deep sea species. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is due to open in 2016.
The video below is a time-lapse of the concrete being poured to create the aquarium.