Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium will soon begin a multimillion-dollar expansion project, to celebrate its upcoming 100th anniversary.
With support from general contractors Pepper/BMI Construction LLC, architect Valerio Dewalt Train, exhibit designer Thinc Design, project manager Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), and more, the aquarium’s new master plan aims to honor the building’s architecture while augmenting spaces for the needs of guests and more than 25,000 animals.
The project will focus on physical improvements to the historic Beaux-Arts-style building which will modernize the aquarium galleries and experience, enable accessibility, and restore original architectural features, such as the opening of windows to provide views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
The multiyear, four-phase expansion will begin later this year and is expected to conclude in 2026, with new galleries, programs, and experiences opening each year.
Project highlights include a new learning commons, a centralized science hub, greater physical accessibility, and activated outdoor spaces.
The aquarium will celebrate its centennial in 2030.