Project Description

PHOENIX, AZ — OdySea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Southwest. The aquarium sits on a 14 Acre site. The aquarium is a 200,000 square feet and three levels. The facility will serve up to 15,000 visitors a day. The aquarium will feature large-scale exhibits, touch pools, a 3D theatre, and the Sea-TREK experience, which puts visitors in the water for a guided tour walking along the “ocean floor.” The exhibit is set to include sharks, turtles, jellyfish, electric eels, sting-rays, octopus, penguins and more. The OdySea Aquarium joins two other attractions that are already located in the same space. The area, titled “OdySea in the Desert,” is located off the Loop 101 on East Via De Ventura and North Dobson Road in Scottsdale.

Construction consisted of building Salt Water Tanks and Non-Salt Water Tanks. OdySea Aquarium’s structure involved more than 20,000 cubic yards of concrete for its structural foundations; 16 cast-in-place aquatic tanks with a unique mix design of 6000 psi with corrosion inhibitor, Air, Micro Silica and Water Proofer. The mixes for these structures required heavy attention during trials and production since they contained air, were 6000 psi with corrosion inhibitor and internal water proofing membrane. McCarthy was extremely satisfied due to the concrete being very surface-tight and level. 1.5 million gallons of water fill the aquarium and is held back by acrylic walls and structural concrete foundations. 121 individual structural columns; and 72 concrete tilt wall panels were assembled over eight days on-site and then placed using a 300 ton tilt panel crawler crane. The largest panel placed weighed 220,000 pounds and stands 60 feet tall.


Project Scope

Length of Time – 17 months

Construction type – Tilt and Structural concrete

Number of tilt panels – 72

Concrete – 20,494 cubic yards

Aquarium mix – 6000 psi concrete


Project Team

Founder – Amram Knishinsky Ph.D

Construction Cost – $185 Million

Location – Scottsdale, AZ

General Contractor – McCarthy

Architect – Deutsch Architecture Group

Supplier – CalPortland, Phoenix