Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Morocco Mall Takes Shoppers Under the Sea

In a new twist on retail as entertainment, visitors to the luxury Morocco Mall in Casablanca will be able to ride an elevator right through the center of an aquarium. What a thrill for kids!

The one-million-liter transparent aquarium - containing more than 1,000 metric tons of saltwater -- is the world’s first and largest acrylic structure of its type, designed and manufactured by ICM (based in Colorado) and Reynolds Polymer Technology, Inc.

The 9.3-meter-tall aquarium called Aquadream is truly the centerpiece of this enormous new mall built along Morocco’s Atlantic coast. As any family who has visited the main city of Morocco knows (and this is one visitor's account of their Casablanca trip, they've come a long way from the souk to this.

Unlike the cobblestone streets and tent stalls of Casablanca's Old Town shopping area, Morocco Mall is an air-conditioned showcase of European and North American luxury brands.  What's new and fun is that in addition to window-shopping, visitors can spy on fish behavior and learn something just by boarding the glass lift.

To focus visitors' interest on the importance of preserving the world’s oceans, the glass elevator transports them on a five-minute "ride" into the ocean while traveling in a safe, water-tight cylinder within a cone-shaped acrylic aquarium filled with marine life.

ICM also managed the aquarium installation in its entirety, including designing the coral reef to be accurate, functional, and safe; selecting aquatic animals that cohabitate; and designing the lighting, filtration systems, and control panels for the aquarium with fail safes to keep everything running safely at minimal levels until the full system can be restored.

Additionally, the children will be pleased to know that the backwash recovery system recycles aquarium water, generating significant operational savings for the mall and, of course, for the environment.

Ready to go shopping in the great, free attraction?  Let us know which fish your kids can identify as they travel through it.

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