Adventure Aquarium


1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ


Herschend Family Entertainment, Norcross, GA


Granary Associates, Philadelphia, PA


O'Donnell & Naccarato, Philadelphia, PA


Whiting-Turner Contracting, Towson, MD

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:



Adventure Aquarium
Adventure Aquarium
Adventure Aquarium
Adventure Aquarium

The new Adventure Aquarium features whimsical colors and images painted on the sides of the building for visual appeal to visitors. Oldcastle Precast Building Systems manufactured 38,000 square feet of CarbonCast® wall panels to house the underwater residents in this New Jersey attraction.

After changing hands to a private owner the old New Jersey State Aquarium reopened after a $53M facelift. The addition of a new wing doubles the exhibit space and adds another destination along the Camden Waterfront. The Adventure Aquarium is now surrounded by numerous other entertainment options including the Battleship New Jersey, Tweeter Center, Campbell’s Field (minor-league baseball) as well as new housing, office, restaurants and hotels.

The Architect worked with the local Development Association which oversees the transformation at the Camden Waterfront. The expansion was critical to rejuvenating the new for-profit attraction. In its current form it features about eight thousand animals living in varied forms of semi-aquatic and oceanic habitats. Nearly two million gallons of water flow through the facility at any given moment.

The new structure was built to accommodate three new exhibits, a new food service area, main entry atrium, gift show and restaurant. Also added is the Shark Realm, viewable from floor-to-ceiling windows. Oldcastle Precast Building Systems manufactured the panels with a steel form finish with reveals.

The aquarium can be seen across the river from Center City Philadelphia. The facility uses signage and paint to draw visitors into the bulging entrance. The interior has a one-time pass with a steel trowel for a smoother finish. The CarbonCast exterior walls replace conventional shear reinforcement with non-corrosive, high-strength C-GRID carbon fiber grid. The 41-foot panels have three-inch outer and inner wythes enclosing four inches of foam insulation to deliver a healthy R-16 which significantly reduces Adventure Aquarium’s heating and cooling costs, an important feature for delicate aquatic life.

C-GRID carbon fiber grid connects the inner and outer wythes of CarbonCast panels to yield a 100 percent structurally composite panel. And because carbon fiber is virtually non-conductive, the panels provide and even insulation profile; they do not have problems with hot spots of cold spots that can plague other wythe connection options.

The load bearing and non-load bearing panels were engineered to incorporate man-doors, double doors and window openings.

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