1 ACQUARIO DI GENOVA THE NEW CETACEANS PAVILION PRESS PACK CONTENTS 1. THE NEW CETACEANS PAVILION AND THE RENOVATED ACQUARIO 2. A UNIQUE FACILITY: TECHNICAL DETAILS 3. THE PROJECTS FOR ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND RESEARCH 4. THE ECONOMIC INVESTMENT AND THE ROLE FOR THE CITY 5. ACQUARIO DI GENOVA AND COSTA EDUTAINMENT. A BRIEF PROFILE 6. INFORMATION Press office Costa Edutainment Acquario di Genova Tel April 2014
2 1. THE NEW CETACEANS PAVILION AND THE RENOVATED ACQUARIO Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in collaboration with Officina Architetti, the new Cetaceans Pavilion of the Acquario di Genova is an important extension of the facility, which celebrates this year its 21 st birthday. The structure, unique in its kind, has been realized thanks to the joint efforts of Porto Antico di Genova SpA, Costa Edutainment SpA and Municipality of Genoa; it was unveiled on 26 th July 2013 and opened to the public on the next day. Located between the main body of the Acquario and the Grande Nave Blu, the new Pavilion was built by Codelfa Spa and is integrated within the Porto Antico Area with a light visual impact, thanks to the glazed surface of the South side and the visitors' path standing just 3 meters above sea level. It is made up by four open-air pools main exhibition tank, nursery, medical and curatorial tanks - which will host up to 10 bottlenose dolphins. The indoor visit path The itinerary is structured on two levels, in order to allow the public to admire the animals either from above or from an underwater perspective. The visitor coming from the Acquario enters the new exhibition section and has an initial insight into the Main pool from the above. Here, thanks to a 30-metre long glass wall that can be opened, visitors can listen live to the extensive repertoire that these animals use to communicate, thus establishing a closer contact with them. Thanks to the location of the trainers working platform, just beyond this opening glass wall, the attention of the public is focused on the dolphins, even during their training: visitors can actually stand in front of the animals and observe them. Visitors can get to know the six animals living in the structure, four females and two males, thanks to their identity cards: Linda lives in the facility since 2006 and comes from Belgium, Naù got there from the Gardaland theme park in March 2013, Betty is Naù and Mia s mum, and got here from Gardaland together with the latter in July The two males are from Gardaland too: Teide has been living in Genoa since the beginning of 2012, while Robin is Naù and Mia s dad and got to Genoa in July This way, visitors get a chance to identify with the researcher, by using on the specimens living in the facility the same identification techniques used by the observers at sea to carry out censuses. In this first part of the exhibition path visitors receive a warm welcome in the popular area, with information on the Pelagos Sanctuary, the marine protected area of approximately 90,000 km 2 created in 2001 thanks to an agreement between France, Italy and the Principality of Monaco, which focuses on the biology and evolutionary history of the 8 species of cetaceans which are normally present in this area: fin - whale, sperm whale, Cuvier's whale, Risso's dolphin, black whale, common dolphin, oceanic dolphin, bottlenose dolphin. Visitors can also find in this area some tips on an approach to offshore sighting which is respectful of the animals and of their natural habitat. The exhibition tank also features upstairs an open-air platform, designed to enable visitors with disabilities to approach the tank and the animals. This space was designed for the development of social projects aimed primarily at underprivileged children, for whom Costa Edutainment makes its staff available twice a month for a free visit closer to the tanks. After about 60 meters, visitors enter the Biodiversity Pavilion, the visit path inside the Nave Blu (Blue Ship) reopened to the public after a refurbishment. Thanks to an important restyling, visitors access the area through an internal ramp which takes them directly to the area dedicated to the Rocky Mediterranean coast where the tactile tank is found. The visit continues in the area dedicated to Madagascar, where they can admire the tropical lagoon tank, completely re-fitted, and the coral education area, where you can discover a reconstruction of the tropical coral reef, the greenery wall designed by French architect Patrick Blanc and the reconstruction of the Tsingy Malagasy forest. After completing the visit of the Biodiversity Pavilion on the ship, visitors can go back to the new Cetaceans Pavilion through a path that leads from the surface to the depths of the sea, offering an underwater view. Here the public passes through a glazed tunnel which is about 15 metres long and, thanks to its curved shape, goes partly into the main exhibit tank, offering breathtaking views and unusual and exciting glimpses of aquatic life, with dolphins swimming well above the visitors heads.
3 The visit experience, which offers a true underwater immersion thanks to the large acrylic surface of the lower part of the tank, was realized by architects Michael Oleksak and Ginette of the Castro Cosestudi company, which had already collaborated in the design of the penguins tank and, before that, in the original project for the Acquario di Genova. In this part of the new Pavilion visitors can delve into the researches on cetaceans, with particular reference to the projects in which the Acquario di Genova and the no - profit Acquario di Genova Foundation have been involved for years, with particular reference to the Delfini Metropolitani (Metropolitan dolpins) and Intercet projects. The public will learn more on some of the techniques used by the researchers for their projects, such as photo identification, in order to have a complete picture of the area monitored by the projects and of the results achieved over the years, as well as to know the specimens closely monitored by the project, their history, their behaviour, their displacements and other curiosities. In this same area the public gets the chance to take an active role in the research taking place at the Acquario di Genova, by purchasing the app Happy Fin adotta il tuo delfino (Happy Fin adopt your dolphin). The adoption of one of the metropolitan dolphins monitored through research projects and the stimulation provided by the didactic and interactive game, developed on the biological and ecological aspects of the bottlenose dolphin in its environment, will help to support these projects. The exhibitions in the popular and scientific areas of the new Pavilion set up by TODO and yet matilde Turin companies propose an educational and experiential path in which different media provide a spatial narrative integrating the thrill of the immersion experience with the accuracy of the scientific narrative. When they get to the end of this path, visitors return to the main structure of the Acquario and conclude their visit. Exhibition of Etruscan finds The Pavilion will host the exhibition of some important Etruscan and Roman finds which emerged from the excavation and preparation works on the seabed; extraordinary underwater operations were necessary to recover them. The finds will evidence the important business activities carried out in the port of Genoa in ancient times, dating them to around 450 BC, that is 200 years earlier than it was thought until now. The finds will be exhibited by Costa Edutainment thanks to the agreement which will be finalized with the Liguria Commission for the Architectural and Landscape Heritage.
4 2. A UNIQUE FACILITY: TECHNICAL DETAILS The Cetaceans Pavilion is a really unique, unprecedented facility in Italy, both in terms of engineering and as concerns the design issues related to the well-being and care of the animals. The technical uniqueness Technically, the new Pavilion is like a floating 7-storey building complex; it was delivered in February 2012 by sea from the La Spezia dry dock, where the construction began, to the Genoa Voltri yard where the work was completed. Finally, on 28 th June 2013, the structure was hauled by sea to its final location, in the Porto Antico basin. This was a spectacular and complex operation: just consider that the structure has a weight of approximately 26,000 tons and a draught of about 9 metres, it has no engines or independent manoeuvre devices and covered the whole stretch from outside the Voltri breakwater to the eastern access to the port. It entered the Porto Antico basin and approached the Acquario dock and its fixed structure thanks to 6 means: two tugboats and another 4 supporting means of the Genoa boatmen and Pilots. After the docking manoeuvre, the sinking operation was carried out: about 3,500 cubic metres of water and then cement gradually filled the ballast tanks found along the perimeter and the base of the structure, in order to lay and perfectly level the structure on the bottom, which was suitably prepared with a long dredging work. This operation, which took about two days of work, did make the Pavilion sink of about 80 centimetres; the same was then laid on the bottom at a depth of about 9.8 metres. The structure, a reinforced concrete parallelepiped 94 metres long, 28 metres wide and about 23 metre high, looks from the outside like a large window, which starts from a height of 3 meters above sea level and closes the passage tunnel for visitors. On either side of the window we find the two towers, connected to the fixed part of the Acquario and the Nave Blu; they are 10 and 13 metres high respectively and host some technical spaces. The work has therefore a very light visual impact and seamlessly integrates itself in the Porto Antico area. It took about four years to realize the project for the Pavilion and about 36 months to build it. A careful planning, aimed at the well - being of the animals From the point of view of the animals care and well - being, the new Pavilion is the brainchild of a long collaboration between architects, designers, veterinary and aquarium staff of the Acquario di Genova: this made it possible to guarantee and improve the animals well - being and the best work conditions for the staff. The four tanks, all of them open - air and with no sharp edges, contain a volume of water equal to 4.8 million litres overall. From autumn 2012, the water of all the Acquario tanks comes from a direct sea inlet, built thanks to an investment of about 1 million Euros, which ensures continuous availability of good quality water from 5 km off the coast. All the tanks inside the new Pavilion feature work platforms on the four sides, so that animals and staff can easily access them. The main tank is equipped with a platform on the top floor which also allows people with motor disabilities to get closer to the animals. More specifically, the work platforms next to the Nursery and in some other areas of the other tanks are placed in the lowest position with respect to the water surface, in order to ease the animals interaction with the operator who is partially immersed in water. All the tanks can be easily isolated thanks to watertight doors, which isolate the concerned tank without preventing the access to the other three: this is done to allow a faster veterinary intervention. An underwater observation tank was designed for the veterinary and aquarium staff: this allows them to see and directly monitor the main exhibition tank, the Nursery and the curatorial tank. A covered mobile veterinary platform is found in the Medical tank and another one is in the nursery tank: these allow to get to the animals much faster - 20 minutes - in case of emergency, even in the presence of water. The new Pavilion Cetaceans in figures Total area of the new structure: about 7,000 sqm Length: 94 metres Width: 28 metres Height above sea level of the structure: base of the visitors glazed tunnel 3 metres Height of the side towers above sea level: 10 metres for the tower on the Nave Blu side, 13 metres for the tower on the Acquario side
5 Number of tanks: 4. Size and volume of the main exhibition tank: maximum depth 7 metres and minimum depth 4.5 metres. Surface about 580 square metres, overall volume about 3,200 cubic metres Surface and volume of the Medical tank: approx square metres and 86.5 cubic metres. This tank is equipped with a mobile bottom Surface and volume of the Nursery tank: about 201 square metres and 1,048 cubic metres This tank is equipped with a mobile bottom Surface and volume of the curatorial tank: about 95 square metres and 408 cubic metres Dimension of the main acrylic part of the exhibition tank: 20 meters wide and 4.2 meters high, 30 cm thick, weighing 35 tons Size of the glazed half tunnel: 15 meters in length, 14 cm thick Total surface of the acrylic parts along the visit path: about 150 square metres Total surface of the glazed part of the visitors tunnel: about 460 square metres Maximum number of animals: 10 Number of animals hosted at the moment: 6 Duration of works: 30 months Average number of workers involved on a monthly basis: 60 Concrete used for the construction: approx. 12,000 cubic metres Water used for sinking the structure in the final destination site: about 3,500 cubic metres
6 3. THE PROJECTS FOR ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND RESEARCH The Acquario di Genova and the no - profit Acquario di Genova ONLUS carry out since always researches on cetaceans. The experience gained over the years and the results achieved are shared with the leading scientific organisations in the sector, which are recognized by the institutions. All the activities, both the ex situ (in a controlled environment) and the in situ (in the natural environment) ones, are coordinated and carried out by the Acquario di Genova staff and also involve university students and young researchers. The ex situ studies (in a controlled environment) The studies carried out within the structure are mainly focused on ethology the study of behaviours - and on the reproduction of bottlenose dolphins, also in the veterinary field. Examples include the research on the bottlenose dolphins sleep patterns, which studies the ability of these animals to sleep using only one hemisphere at a time, so that they can always go to the surface to breathe and be vigilant against any dangers. An important research on the evolution and function of sleep in a young bottlenose dolphin was also carried out and published in 2006 on the prestigious international scientific journal Nature. Other researchers have focused on the communication between mother and baby and on the individual recognition systems using the signature whistle. The in situ research (offshore) In the Pelagos sanctuary, the Acquario di Genova and its Foundation lead scientific projects aimed at widening the knowledge on Cetaceans and promote their preservation. There are two main projects: Delfini Metropolitani (metropolitan dolphins) and Intercet. Delfini Metropolitani is a research project which kicked off in 2001 with the aim of studying the dolphins presence and habits along the coasts of the Pelagos Sanctuary, as well as their interactions with human activities. The research is focused on the bottlenose dolphin, a dolphin living in shallow water which rarely goes beyond one hundred meters below sea level and shares its habitat with a privileged guest, who is often a disturbing presence: man. Dolphins are studied through the technique of "photo-identification", allowing researchers to recognize each individual through the characteristic signs found on the dorsal fin. According to the findings of over 10 years of research, bottlenose dolphins are moving between the coastline and the meters bathymetric line, in an area where human activities are particularly intense. In the La Spezia area, where the 100 meters bathymetric line moves offshore, bottlenose dolphins seem to find a more suitable habitat, with an estimated presence of about 200 individuals. The researchers of the Delfini Metropolitani project are constantly comparing the data collected along the Ligurian coast with those of other entities operating within the Pelagos Sanctuary, in order to get a broad and complete picture of the presence of bottlenose dolphins in this area. This cooperation has made it possible to estimate the abundance of bottlenose dolphins within the entire sanctuary, with about 1000 dolphins of this specie living there. For more information: The mission of all the activities of the Acquario di Genova and its Foundation is to educate and raise awareness among the general public: this is why, since spring 2008, the CrocierAcquario project has joined the Delfini Metropolitani one. CrocierAcquario, created together with WWF Liguria, invites the public to participate in the researchers activities, with half-day boat trips. Participants are involved in field study, learn to recognize cetaceans and, more importantly, to respect them and their environment. Since 2013 this activity is offered 3 times a week and, in the months of July and August, 5 times a week. INTERCET is an online platform designed and developed by the Acquario di Genova for the Liguria region within the Gionha project; its function is to promote a cooperation between the subjects engaged in research activities on Cetaceans and sea turtles, thanks to the aggregation and the analysis of data collected by various entities. For more information: HAPPY FIN - Adotta un delfino! (Happy fin - adopt a dolphin) - An App supporting research In order to further involve the public in the research and protection projects and allow those who wish to do so to participate in this activity with a direct support, the Acquario di Genova seizes the opportunity of the Cetaceans Pavilion s opening to launch HAPPY FIN - Adotta un delfino!, a new App which allows you to adopt a dolphin among those which are monitored within the Delfini Metropolitani project.
7 By using HAPPY FIN you can receive updated information on your adopted dolphin: date and place of sighting, behaviour, reproductive activity, if any, and much more. HAPPY FIN also features an educational game allowing you to interact with a virtual dolphin and get to know the habits of bottlenose dolphins. HAPPY FIN Adotta un delfino! was developed to collect funds and support the research and protection activities which the Acquario di Genova and its Foundation carry out in the Pelagos Sanctuary and as a tool for educating and raising awareness in the general public. The cost of the new App is 5 Euros. We thank the Liguria Region for providing the bathymetric data related to the Portofino promontory (Punta Chiappa), which made it possible to create the virtual world of HAPPY FIN. HAPPY FIN is available for Apple ios (iphone, ipad), Google Android and soon for Windows Phone 8.
8 4. THE ECONOMIC INVESTMENT AND THE ROLE FOR THE CITY The construction of the new Cetaceans Pavilion has entailed a total investment of about 30 million Euros, 9 million of which from public funds, partly made up by the remaining resources allotted for Expo 92 and also distributed for other requalification projects for the city of Genoa. The contract for the construction of the tank designed by Renzo Piano was awarded by a public competitive tender called in 2009 by the Genoa Municipality. The contract was awarded to the Temporary Consortium between Codelfa S.p.A. (consortium leader), a company belonging to the Gavio group and operating since 1965 in the fields of civil and industrial building and of infrastructures, Gianni Benvenuto S.p.A. and Diesse Electra S.p.A.. Porto Antico di Genova S.p.A., acting as Principal, participated in the investment with an amount equal to about 3 million Euros; it also advanced the residual investment, for an estimated amount of about 15 million Euros, by a mortgage granted by Banca Carige. This commitment is in addition to 67 million Euros which the company has invested since 1995 up to date to develop improvement projects which brought the area to its current configuration. Costa Edutainment S.p.A., project manager and manager of the Acquario di Genova with the new facility, has participated in the investment with a direct financial contribution of about 4 million Euros; it will also refund the part of investment advanced by Porto Antico di Genova S.p.A. with an yearly supplementary fee covering the mortgage and the interests, which will accrue from the day of the opening to the public of the tank to the expiry of the concession granted to Costa. Therefore, to date the financial and economic investment for the facility manager is equal to about 18 million Euros. The commitment of Costa Edutainment in the project is particularly important for a company that at the end of 2012 had a consolidated turnover of about 25 million Euros. This commitment is in addition to the investments made by the Acquario for over 24 million Euros which the company has made since 1996 to date, with an average yearly investment equal to 1.8 million Euros, in addition to an annual fee granted to Porto Antico di Genova SpA which at present is equal to about 2.5 million Euros, for an overall amount of 23.6 million Euros over the years. The new Pavilion brings the overall surface of the Acquario di Genova from about 20,000 square metres to about square metres and makes the average visit about 45 minutes longer. This is an important enrichment to the structure which celebrates this year its 21 st birthday and represents the largest exhibition of aquatic biodiversity in Europe, thanks to 70 exhibition tanks hosting 15,000 animal of 400 different species, among which manatees, sharks, seals, penguins, jellyfishes, Antarctic animals - the Acquario is the only structure in Europe to host them, and colourful coral reef fishes. The new Pavilion is an integral part of the visit to the Acquario di Genova and the AcquarioVillage world, which combines in a single offer, with a ticket valid all year long, all the facilities managed by Costa Edutainment in Genoa: the Acquario, the Galata Museo del Mare, the Nazario Sauro submarine, La città dei bambini e dei ragazzi, the Biosfera, the Bigo panoramic lift and, another new addition of 2013, the Museo Nazionale dell Antartide. The Pavilion is the result of the synergy between Porto Antico di Genova SpA and Costa Edutainment SpA and it does not only represent an important enrichment for the facility: it also contributes to the enhancement of the Porto Antico area. This part of the city underwent a significant architectural recovery and then a restyling operated by architect Renzo Piano, and is nowadays a city space and a place to be enjoyed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to the presence of a world class ludic - cultural centre, with the Acquario di Genova as the main attraction. This great new addition also aims to contribute to the promotion of the city of Genoa as a high level cultural and tourist destination, as well as to make the tourists stay in the city longer, thus creating a beneficial effect on the Genoese economic system.
9 5. ACQUARIO DI GENOVA AND COSTA EDUTAINMENT. A BRIEF PROFILE The Acquario di Genova was built on the occasion of the Expo 92, a celebration of the fifth centenary of the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, with the intention of restructuring and enhancing an area full of history and traditions, located in the heart of Genoa s historic centre: the Porto Antico (the old port). The project of the area and the Acquario is by the Genoese architect Renzo Piano, who wanted to realize a work which would become an integrating part of the city, by knocking down the boundary walls which for years had kept the Genoese people away from the docks. The Acquario s interior design is by the American architect Peter Chermayeff instead, who radically changed the concept of the aquarium back in the Seventies. After the partial initial opening in April '92, on the occasion of the Columbus Celebrations, the Acquario di Genova was definitely inaugurated on 15 th October It is a public property of Porto Antico di Genova S.p.A. ; the Acquario di Genova has been managed since the end of 1995 by Costa Edutainment S.p.A. Costa Edutainment is the leader in Italy in the edutainment sector; the mission of the company is to meet the growing request for a qualitative way to spend the leisure time, combining culture, education, excitement and entertainment in unique and meaningful experiences. It is specialized in the management of great public and private facilities, dedicated to recreational, cultural, didactic, study and research activities. In Genoa the company manages, as well as the Acquario di Genova, the Galata Museo del Mare with the submarine Nazario Sauro, La città dei bambini e dei ragazzi, the Biosfera and La città dei bambini e dei ragazzi. Since 2000, the company has acquired Incoming Liguria, a leading Tour Operator in Genoa, specialising in package holidays in Liguria, with special attention on Genoa. Since 2004, Costa Edutainment is a member of the Associazione Festival della Scienza" ( Science Festival association), which takes care of the organization of the scientific exhibition which takes place every year in Genoa. In 2008 Costa Edutainment S.p.A. has also become part of Genova Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura (Genoa Palazzo Ducale Culture Foundation) as a share holding partner, with the objective of actively contributing to the heritage enhancement and promotion of the initiatives and cultural networks of the Genoese territory, within a perspective of cooperation between public and private sectors. On a national level, Costa Edutainment manages the Acquario di Cattolica since 2000, the Acquario di Livorno, which reopened to the public on 31 st July 2010, since 1 st September 2011 and manages, in cooperation with Panaque srl, the Acquario di Cala Gonone, Sardinia. Since October 2013 it manages Oltremare and Aquafan, two parks in Riccione, and since March 2014 also the Italia in Miniatura park in Rimini, all on the Adriatic coast. These three facilities together with the Acquario di Cattolica constitute the new Costa Parchi hub. The company is also directly involved with the management of the facility or exhibitions and events taking place in 5 out of 6 of the main Italian realities; this is done through the Civita group, of which it is a partner (24%). Part of Civita Group is "Opera Laboratori Fiorentini", a company which since 1 st July 2009 has been managing the commercial spaces of the Vatican Museums and has also been involved for years with the management of the Uffizi Gallery, the Vasari Corridor and the "Galleria dell Accademia and Duomo di Siena.
10 6. INFORMATION Address: Area Porto Antico - Ponte Spinola Genova Information: ph ; Offices: ph fax Groups and schools reservation and purchase individual touristic packages: Incoming Liguria: ph fax Prices Acquario di Genova (the new Cetaceans Pavilion included): Adults 24 Euros; Children (4-12 years old) 15 Euros; Kids (0-3 years old) free; over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person: 21 Euros; adults groups (1 free out of 20 paying tickets) 19 Euros; Schools (2 free teachers out of 15 students): 10 euros. AcquarioVillage (one-year-long ticket including 1 entrance in each of the following facility: Acquario di Genova, Galata Museo del Mare with Nazario Sauro submarine, La città dei bambini e dei ragazzi, Museo Nazionale dell Antartide, Biosfera, panoramic lift Bigo): adults 48 Euros, children 29 Euros (4-12 years old), kids (0-3 years old) free, over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person: 40 Euros. Pianeta Acquario New (Acquario di Genova + Biosfera + Museo Nazionale dell Antartide): adults 32 Euros, children (4-12 years old) 19 Euros, kids (0-3 years old) free, over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person: 27 Euros. CittaDeiBambiniAcquario (Acquario di Genova + La città dei bambini e dei ragazzi): adults 26 Euro, children 19 Euros (4-12 years old), kids (0-3 years old) free; over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person 23 Euros. GalatAcquario (Acquario di Genova + Galata Museo del Mare + Nazario Sauro submarine): adults 37 Euros, children (4-12 years old) 23 Euros, kids (0-3) free; over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person 32 Euros. Secret Acquario (Acquario di Genova + Behind the Scenes): adults 29 Euros, children (4-12 years old) 18 Euros, kids (0-3 years old) free; over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person 25 Euros CrocierAcquario (Acquario di Genova + boat excursion on the path of the Cetaceans in cooperation with WWF): adults 46 Euros, children (4-12 years old) 23 Euros, over 65, Military, Invalids and Disabled People with free accompanying person 43 Euro. Opening hours: The Acquario di Genova, with its new Cetaceans Pavilion, is open every day of the year. Summertime (from March to October): Weekdays 08.30am 8pm (last entrance 6pm); weekends and holidays 08.30am 9pm (last entrance 7pm) July and August: every day 8.30am 10.30pm (last entrance 8.30pm). Wintertime (from November to February): weekdays 9.30am 8pm (last entrance 6pm); weekends and holidays 09.30am 9pm (last entrance 7pm).