Lausanne opens major freshwater aquarium-vivarium

Aquatis, a groundbreaking new aquarium and vivarium that’s home to some 100 reptile and 10,000 fish species, is set to open its doors this weekend.

The largest facility of its kind in Europe, Aquatis is located near Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland, and promises to take visitors on a journey through 20 different freshwater habitats from around the globe.

Designed by architectural studio Richter Dahl Rocha, the circular building is decorated in 100,000 aluminium discs that shimmer in the sunshine and sway in the breeze.

Opening its doors on 21 October, the two-storey Aquatis holds 2 million litres of water and boast 46 different aquariums, vivariums and terrariums. Across 3,500sq m (37,673sq ft) of floor space, the exhibits are divided into five zones, one representing each continent, with the ground floor dedicated to Europe and the upper floor to Africa, Asia, Oceania and America. At the centre of the building across the two storeys, a tropical greenhouse recreates the Amazon rainforest and its river, complete with arapaimas and piranhas.

"This project will make people dream, make families dream, make the younger generation as well as the older generations dream,” said Bernard Russi, CEO of Swiss hotel group BOAS, which funded the project. “They will all be equally amazed by this spectacular show of all living things."

A wide range of innovative and interactive technologies, such as full-scale projections, immersive cutting-edge scenography and virtual animals, help bring the exhibits to life.

As well as the permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, Aquatis offers educational spaces, a conference centre and hotel, wellness centre, restaurants and gift shop.

aquarium  vivarium  lausanne  lake geneva  switzerland 
Aquatis, a groundbreaking new aquarium and vivarium that’s home to some 100 reptile and 10,000 fish species, is set to open its doors this weekend. The largest facility of its kind in Europe, Aquatis is located near Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland, and promises to take visitors on a journey through 20 different freshwater habitats from around the globe. Designed by architectural studio Richter Dahl Rocha, the circular building is
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Designed by architectural studio Richter Dahl Rocha, the circular building is decorated in 100,000 aluminium discs / Fernando Guerrera
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