THEMED ENTERTAINMENT

SEAWORLD SHAMU WHALE STADIUM

ORLANDO, FL

2002 AIA Test of Time, Award of Excellence

American Institute of Architects Orlando Chapter

 

1991 Best of Orlando Architecture

Orlando Magazine

 

1988 AIA Honor Award

American Institute of Architects Orlando Chapter

 

1984 AIA Unbuild Design Award

American Institute of Architects Orlando Chapter

A typical home consists of basic components—a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, etc. But when HHCP Architects began work on a new home in Orlando, FL, it quickly became apparent that their client was like no other. More than 19 feet in length and weighing 8,000 pounds, Shamu and his fellow whales needed a home at SeaWorld that was anything but typical.

 

Undertaking an unprecedented challenge, the design team proposed a column-free covered stadium that provides clear views of the performance from every seat. As was typical of the time, baseball stadiums and other sporting venues expected guests to adapt to obstructed lines of vision. But in a radical departure, the team designed a crescent-shaped stadium wrapping the main performance pool, with a unique radial steel truss roof structure sitting atop two massive concrete columns. This innovative stadium configuration offers spectacular unobstructed views from all 6,000 of the stadium’s covered seats.

 

Most SeaWorld visitors come to see the amazing whale perform; the behind-the-scenes thought and care necessary to house such large and complex animals isn’t often acknowledged. For the whales’ comfort, large water pumps circulate 7 million gallons of strictly monitored man-made seawater at a constant chilly 55 degrees, even during Florida’s extreme summer months. Behind the main performance tank, the whales retreat from the spotlight in the living and breeding tanks. The success of the complex’s design was affirmed in September 1985, when the first whale was born in captivity.

 

Contributing to the continued success of Shamu Stadium is the fact that the architecture never distracts from the performance; rather, it supports an ever evolving show. The timelessness of the design was recognized in 2002 with the American Institute of Architects’ Test of Time Award. The design concept of the stadium and its relation to the show and audience have been consistent from its opening—it still operates today as it did more than 25 years ago to provide a thrilling experience for SeaWorld visitors and a comfortable home for Shamu and friends.

 

 

120 N ORANGE  AVENUE, ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32801

P  407  644  2656      F  407  628  3269

SITE DESIGNED AND CREATED BY HHCP

© 2019 HHCP, Inc. All Rights Reserved

120 N ORANGE  AVENUE, ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32801

P  407  644  2656      F  407  628  3269

SITE DESIGNED AND CREATED BY HHCP

© 2019 HHCP, Inc. All Rights Reserved