It Took 25 Hours of Continuous Concrete Pouring to Build This Aquarium

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

When the Miami's Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science opens in 2016, it's going to have an absolutely bonkers aquarium—imagine a giant camera lens, tilted on its side, that lets visitors walk below the tank and look up into it. Building it, as you might expect, entailed a perfectly-timed, magnificently-engineered fiasco.

Skanska recently uploaded a time lapse of what it calls an "epic" concrete pour needed to create the tank in Miami. It's hard to argue with that descriptor when you hear the specifics: 150 people, 131 concrete trucks, 25 hours of straight pouring, three days of fire drills to prepare for potential catastrophic failures, and ultimately, 917 cubic metres of cement.

It Took 25 Hours of Continuous Concrete Pouring To Build This Aquarium

It Took 25 Hours of Continuous Concrete Pouring To Build This Aquarium

There actually was one major failure—but it wasn't a dangerous one. The concrete pump and a conveyor belt at the concrete plant went down for a full half an hour during the project, says Skanska. There was a plan B in place, so the pour wasn't interrupted. But in case it had been, the project team had already prepped a plan C—a wrecker truck to pull out the failed pump and replace it.

Check out the full time lapse below—or head over to Skanska's blog to read a blow-by-blow account of the pour. By size, it still doesn't stand up to LA's record-breaking concrete pour from this summer—but it took an extra eight hours to pour roughly 10 per cent of the same concrete volume, which tells you something about the extraordinarily precise nature of the work. [Skanska]