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We read Nicholas Confessore's NY Times article about three finalists being chosen for the New York Aquarium's redesign in actual paper, but it's much better online with the color renderings of the designs. The designs had to make the aquarium "visually porous, engaging and inviting," because many people find the current structure too remote and walled-up. Oh, and the design had to be a "beacon for Coney Island." The three finalists do seem rather spectacular in their own ways:

- From WRT & Cloud 9 (top rendering), a very organic-looking form, described as an "undulating enclosure, an interpretation of the nearby Cyclone roller coaster’s swoops and swirls" as well as a resembling "an enormous whale" in the NY Times.

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- From West 8 & Weisz & Yoes (above), a jellyfish structure with "looping pathways"

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- From Smith-Miller & Hawkinson, a design that seems to be tucked into the beach; it also "eplaces the wall between the aquarium and the Boardwalk with an undulating wave fence that opens to the Boardwalk at several points"

Which design do you like? Our early favorite is the WRT & Cloud 9 whale structure, but that could be due to the drama of a nighttime rendering. The West 8 and Weisz & Yoes design is the most playful while we find the Smith-Miller & Hawkison design to be soothingly beautiful. The finalist is supposed to be picked this fall - we can't wait for this piece of Coney Island redevelopment.

And have you been to the NY Aquarium? The NY Aquarium is the city's only aquarium and it's the oldest one in the country; it was originally in Battery Park, but moved to Brooklyn in the 1950s (after a brief tenure in the Bronx).