In addition to the quality of the replicated environments and living exhibits the modern attraction relies, for its impact, upon large uninterrupted viewing of the exhibits. This is a quantum move from the small glass viewing windows of older aquariums and enables the viewer to become intimate with each exhibit.
Submerged acrylic tunnels are a feature of most modern aquariums. The 180º tunnel is the most commonly used, but visitor experience can be enhanced by tunnels and viewing domes of all types and sizes.
The desire to have large viewing windows presents some difficulties during transportation and installation. For example, large windows are not able to be shipped in a container thus requiring special packing and handling procedures. Placement of large windows and tunnel sections is difficult as they must be craned into the building as construction proceeds or alternatively hatches and slots left in floors to enable placement later. Each must be decided on an individual basis and if placed early, stringent protection procedures put in place. Procurement time for special acrylic orders is normally around six months.
AES can develop viewing aspects of the display appropriate to environment, visitor expectations and surrounding displays, interpretation and architecture. AES can then apply value engineering in designing viewing panels and location mechanisms to provide excellent viewing of displays at the most economical cost.