The public institution AQUATIKA – KARLOVAC FRESHWATER AQUARIUM was opened in 2016 as part of the project entitled “FRESHWATER AQUARIUM AND RIVER MUSEUM – KAQUARIUM”, co-financed by the European Union from the European Fund for Regional Development within the Operating programme Regional Competitiveness 2007 – 2013 in the amount of HRK 36,222,282.45 of the total project value of HRK 36,691,939.25.
The Karlovac Freshwater Aquarium is situated on the right bank of the Korana River. The structure is dug into the ground, and its exterior sides covered in an earthen embankment. The inspiration for the architecture is the historical town centre: the Karlovac star-shaped town, surrounded by earthen defensive embankments.
The objective was to create a new urban focal point on the right bank of the Korana River, to breathe new life into the riverside promenade, create a gathering place and tourist attraction. In the centre of the structure is a public area in the form of a square, from which walking trails extend in three directions: west towards the town centre and riverside promenade, south towards the polyvalent area where concerts are held, and east towards the main entrance, road and stadium.
The aquarium facilities surround this square, without countering the natural appearance of the Korana valley.
The aquarium exhibition areas present an overview of the flora and fauna of Croatia’s rivers and their ecosystems, the geological past, and the traditional culture and history of the Karlovac area that lies on four rivers. The aquarium shows an overview of the course of karst rivers – the river flora, fauna and its biodiversity.
At the end of the exhibition area, the staircase and elevator return visitors to the entrance gallery via the souvenir shop. In the centre of the building is a laboratory for the analysis of technological water parameters, a scientific , and fish acclimatisation room.
Project partners include the Croatian Veterinary Institute, Croatian Institute for Biodiversity, Pan society for environmental protection (Eko Pan), and the Karlovac Museum.
The journey from the idea to the finished project was certainly not simple or easy, and new challenges also stand before the institution, whose aim continues to be to become a significant and recognisable local tourist attraction.
This is something that we are sure to succeed in becoming, as the Public institution AQUATIKA – KARLOVAC FRESHWATER AQUARIUM offers every visitor a unique experience of the underwater world, which we think we know so well, but there is still so much to discover.
Take a peek into the mysterious riverine world – visit the Karlovac freshwater aquarium!
Project leader: Town of Karlovac
Project manager: Marina Grčić
Partners: Croatian Veterinary Institute, Croatian Institute for Biological Diversity, Karlovac Museum, Pan society for environmental protection
Associate: RA Karla
Architectural design: Studio 3LHD d.o.o
Aquarium technology design: Franjo Jović
Fish protection project: Dražen Oraić
Construction contractors: AB gradnja d.o.o., KGH d.o.o., ENA d.o.o.
Construction supervision: MB plan d.o.o.
Design supervision: Studio 3LHD, Zagreb
Artificial rock scenography supervision: MB plan d.o.o.
Aquarium design supervision: Aquosus aquariums d.o.o.
Exhibit concept and design: Studio 3LHD d.o.o.
Aquarium setup: Marko Ćaleta, Zoran Marčić
Exhibit setup design: Bilić Müller Studio
Illustrations: Maja Spoja, Ana Rako, Marina Trpčić
Artificial rocks: Igor Lenard
Audio-video installations: Miodrag Gladović
Aquarium setup and lighting concept: Aquatic design j.d.o.o.
Texts: Goran Jakšić, Luka Čorak, Ivana Francišković Olrom, Marina Trpčić, Ivan Špelić, Dušan Jelić
Fish models: Bosse Wessman
Expert associates: Marin Jarnjak, Renata Matoničkin Kepčija, Diana Garašić