Wool Felt Gets to Play with the Otters
Aquarium of the Bay is a public aquarium located at the edge of historic Pier 39 in San Francisco, California. Specializing in local aquatic animals from the San Francisco Bay and neighboring waters, the marine nature center holds 700,000 gallons of bay water that sustains approximately 20,000 animals ranging from octopuses to eight-foot sevengill sharks. A fan favorite, the charismatic North American river otters are renowned for their playful antics. In the River Otters: Watershed Ambassadors Gallery, 3mm Design Felt is CNC cut with frolicking otters and layered above a darker grey felt to aid with acoustics and showcase their spirited nature.
ANKE design Corporation’s goal was to deliver a modern gallery that could accommodate tour groups during the day and be the perfect backdrop for the social events and fundraisers that take place in the aquarium. The felt bands, featuring the sinuous movements of the otters, extend along the walls integrated with educational monitors, along a curved wall that leads to the retail space, and on three large barn doors. These doors slide open to reveal the ‘educational nook’, from which staff can provide educational presentations, and also doubles as a bar during events in the space. In addition, these doors offer access to the otter holding space (where they can get a little shut-eye during off hours), administrative offices, and an A/V control room.