After more than two years of construction, a $53-million expansion of the Aquarium of the Pacific will make its public debut on May 24 in Long Beach.

The project, called Pacific Visions, consists of an amorphous two-story, 29,000-square-foot structure.  The new building includes a 300-seat theater, an art gallery, and other interactive features.

“After more than a decade of planning and building, we are excited to open Pacific Visions to the public,” stated Dr. Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president & CEO in a statement. “Pacific Visions is unlike any other aquarium expansion project. We are taking a unique, unconventional approach in creating a space where the focus is on the one species that is affecting all others on Earth: humans. Pacific Visions is a place where scientists, policymakers, and the public can come together to explore solutions to create a better future for all.”

Designed by San Francisco-based architecture firm EHDD, Pacific Visions is described as a "biomorphic structure."  It is clad with over 800 panels that respond to different light and weather conditions, mirroring the effects of sunlight hitting water.

Pacific Visions is the first major expansion of the Aquarium of the Pacific in its two-decade history.  Construction was financed by the City of Long Beach and private donors, including American Honda Motor Co., Inc.