The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is located Virginia Beach, Virginia. It features 800,000 gallons of water-filled habitats and houses over 12,000 animals. With numerous hands-on exhibits, and several nature trails sprawling through the Virginia Beach marshlands it’s one of the best aquariums in the country and caters to 3,000 – 6,000 visitors a day.
In the planning stage of this project, the aquarium’s marketing team conveyed their desire to improve the wayfinding for their guests due to their complex layout. A playful path linking the entry to each exhibit in the science center was a perfect solution, incorporating images of various sea creatures along the floor. The aquarium’s art director created sketches of a schools of fish, turtles, and other marine animals they wanted to be the centerpieces of the design. From there, Tarkett was able to copy the art and create a continuous pattern design on several carpet rolls and carpet tiles. These custom pieces were installed on the floors throughout the Aquarium to help direct the flow of traffic.
After hurdling the challenge of creating a carpet design that satisfied the aquarium, a new problem emerged. Blue-prints were not available, so precise measurements and attention to detail regarding pile direction were critical in their complicated space. The task of successfully inserting the Tarkett Powerbond within the Tarkett carpet tiles was the final step, which proved to be a huge success. Upon purchasing their tickets, visitors are now told to “Follow the School of Fish.”