Immersive destinations built from insight
Welcome to Aquamarine Projects. We are an international consultancy specialising in large entertainment and lifestyle projects.
Our vision is to enrich lives and places by designing and developing immersive destinations that celebrate nature, inspire visitors and thrive commercially.
We provide end-to-end solutions: from concept and planning, to design and construction, to operational management and anything in between.
Evolution Through Insight
At AQM we exist to create inspirational, immersive destinations that enrich the communities and people they are built for.
Aquamarine has core teams located in New Zealand, Russia and
South Africa. Our global network of partners enable a multicultural perspective, meaning we have the ability to build our team around projects, which we have completed across the world.
Applications of interest are open for several existing projects, and for new ideas.
Entertain the possibilities
In Aquamarine's home base of New Zealand, we are the first country to see the new dawn each day, and this special spot in the world helps to shape our unique viewpoint. We're lucky to have many incredible natural environments on our doorstep and the natural world is hugely important to us. Perhaps this is what drives us to create projects that help others across the globe share in nature's wonders too.
We don't shy away from a challenge. We work with clients and communities in unique regions all over the world to help them build legacies and landmarks. Are you ready to start building yours?Nicholas Traviss Aquamarine, Owner /Director
Two Generations of Innovation, 47 years in business, 1100+ projects.
Bob Traviss started R.K. Traviss Design in 1972, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Since our inception, Aquamarine has evolved into an international design and project consultancy.
From our early focus on architecture, to our specialization in aquariums, to our current focus on multi-feature bespoke developments and integrated biomes – we have always been passionate about enhancing human experience within built environments.
Throughout our evolution, we have stayed true to our roots – holding onto a respect for our natural environment, a commitment to outstanding delivery in true partnership with our clients, and a sensitivity to how our work can impact and improve lives.
Bobby Traviss founds R.K. Traviss Design in Bay of Islands New Zealand
30 years marks 977 individual projects completed in New Zealand's Northland Region
Our second era begins, as Nicholas joins his father in the business, and R.K. Traviss Design becomes Traviss Design
Traviss Design builds an international reputation as an expert consultancy in aquarium design, partnering with other leading Aquarium industry experts on over 150 projects over this time
Bobby passes, and leaves his legacy to Nicholas, as the business continues to grow and diversify
Traviss Design expands into Aquamarine Projects – extending beyond aquariums into diverse entertainment and experience precinct projects
Aquamarine Projects embarks on a number of diverse nature-based entertainment projects including nature parks, water parks, botanic gardens and discovery centres.
Aquamarine pioneers the new commercial Eco-Aquarium and champions Biome development as the sustainable future of entertainment design.
At AQM we exist to create inspirational, immersive destinations that enrich the communities and people they are built for.
Biomes, the future of entertainment and sustainable building
Aquamarine’s ‘Biome’ concept offers a new take on entertainment destination design that enhances guest experiences and offers a more sustainable future for the industry.
Biome features include:
Botanic gardens, aquariums, unique regional ecosystems, and rainforests are cornerstones of every Biome.
Adventure parks, playgrounds, tree walks, rock-climbing etc.
Social & wellbeing facilities
Restaurants, bars, rest areas, shops and spas.
Culture & education
Integral to the biome experience local culture and history are curated into informative displays and installation design.
Taking inspiration from the biomes of the natural world, Aquamarine Biomes are social destinations designed as cohesive habitats. Each is a unique entertainment precinct that heroes the natural world while operating as a sustainable business. Read on to learn more about how Biomes are a response to the growing call for change and how this is fundamentally shaping what we do and our vision.Read more
Read more about the people, concepts and clients involved in our work, including our Biome concept, in our inaugural magazine Insight.
This issue, entitled ‘Our Connected World’, introduces our approach and explores some recent projects and core topics that are driving our trajectory as a business, such as multi-locational collaboration, the environment and sustainability.Download
VGP Marine Kingdom
India’s first and largest public aquarium, this international-tier project is breaking new ground. Designed to the highest standard in ecosystem reproduction with combined education and sustainability programme offerings, learn how we achieved this country-first milestone.Read more
It's in the trees
What we can learn from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and why it’s now celebrated as an antidote to the modern urban lifestyle and its associated stressors.Read more
Earth – Our planet. Our Home.
Our planet is filled with rich natural wonders. Come with us as we explore what our planet has to offer, our impact on it, and what we can do to improve its outlook for humankind and all the species that inhabit it.Read more
No stranger to change, Nicholas has transformed Aquamarine several times over since taking on the company his father Bobby started in 1972. In fact, he sees adaptability as the heart of the business itself, evolving to meet diverse markets, and new horizons.
“A holistic viewpoint has always been central to what we do at Aquamarine – looking at, and adapting to, all the interconnected parts of a situation.” Nicholas says.
“On a personal level, it’s what keeps it interesting and fun. On a professional level, it’s what enables us to succeed.”
“This approach runs deep through our design philosophy and our cooperative approach to work. It’s all about being responsive to context, and open to opportunity, and is part of what makes the work we do so rewarding.”
This has been the case since the company’s early days as an architectural firm delivering residential and commercial work in New Zealand’s far North, through to its growth into a specialist consultancy in commercial aquariums through the ‘00’s. Now, as Aquamarine spreads roots across the globe, expanding into large scale entertainment development, it’s even more relevant.
“Working this way gives us the chance to open our eyes to other cultures and ways of working. And the chance to forge friendships, partnerships and collaborations all over the world.”
As recent events have unfolded across the world, namely COVID-19’s global impact, the importance of adaptability to operating a successful business has been clear. Remote collaboration has also taken centre-stage, highlighting how our communities and businesses can remain interconnected, locally and globally, even when physically separated; something intrinsic to Aquamarine’s operations already.
“If the past year’s global events have shown us anything, it’s that change is inevitable, and it’s through collaboration and working together that we overcome obstacles and move forward. If we let fear or denial paralyse us, we reduce our ability to respond, and our ability to see the opportunities that change might bring.”
Aquamarine is by no means finished evolving yet. Nicholas is using this same foresight to spearhead a new direction for the entertainment design sector, one that champions the interconnectedness of human wellbeing with that of our environment, and that challenges the industry to do better, to be better, and operate with greater conscience.
For Nicholas, it’s a vision that is close to his heart. Living on the outskirts of Auckland in New Zealand with his wife and three children, he experiences daily the benefits of living close to nature. And he is serious about protecting it, partnering with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and with local Iwi to establish a protected reserve for the 400-year-old native forest near his home, ensuring its preservation in perpetuity. The old forest also offers a cultural treasure, as a backdrop for local film and television projects.
“For me, it’s all about approaching things in a way that means we are designing for the lives, businesses and world we aspire to have in the future, not to meet expectations based on what has been done before.”
To learn more about Aquamarine’s vision for the future of entertainment design, read about Biomes here.
Aquamarine – a design ecosystem
Our forte is creating sustainable developments that are unique to location and context.
Designed to let us work anywhere and achieve anything, our flexible approach is focused on delivering solutions and outcomes, not pigeon-holing our offering or services.
Whatever is needed, we can provide the specialists to make it happen.Discuss your project with us
What we do:
We offer turnkey specialist consulting services from concept, to development, to construction, to operation.
Seek insight, shape the world.
- Architecture / architectural design
- Concept design & development
- Construction - specialist & building
- Creative direction
- Exhibit design
- Feasibility assessment
- General management consulting
- Interior design
- Operational design & strategy
- Spatial design
- Technical design
- Visual communications design
What we build:
We create (and help operate) special spaces for people to live, work and play while thoughtfully incorporating the natural world.
Bespoke solutions for unique locations
- Adventure parks and playgrounds
- Amusement parks
Apartments & living spaces
(high rise and low rise)
- Aquariums & oceanariums
- Botanic gardens
- Destination projects
- Entertainment centres & malls
- Landscaped parks
- Leisure centres
- Luxury residences
- Resorts & hotels
- Retail malls
- Tourism attractions
- Water parks
Why we do it:
Our mission at Aquamarine is to bring a love and wonder for our diverse natural environment to people across the globe, through immersive experiences that educate, and enhance lives. Our projects deliver many benefits such as:
Creating spaces that enrich lives and places
- Connecting people and communities
- Increasing visitor wellbeing
- Fostering local growth through employment and tourism
- Supporting the environment
- Education and conservation initiatives
- Better lives through entertainment and lifestyle enjoyment
Our approach is informed by many years of experience and learnings made along the way. We adhere to strong principles and practices to ensure sustainable results and better outcomes for all involved.
Every project and the people it serves is unique. We undertake significant research to understand full context, and the quality of our work is built on a deep understanding of how people live, how they like to be entertained, and how to deliver to this within a sustainable business model. Through personal observation, we immerse ourselves in each place we are designing for, and conduct detailed research into social, environmental, commercial and political factors. Custom solutions are built from here. Talk to us about your next intriguing challenge.
We are deeply passionate about the natural world. Sustainable practice and innovation is central to our approach and we believe it is vital for any business that hopes to succeed in the future. As part of this, environmental education is central in our entertainment developments, as is the wellbeing of any living species housed within them. Contact us to learn more about our sustainability and environmental practices and principles.
Our multi-disciplinary network of specialists spans the globe. Because we work all over the world, understanding and adapting to cultural and geographical diversity is central to our approach on every project, and we love the challenge. Collaborative practice and partnership with local communities, governments and investors is a core priority, with a focus on designing to create opportunities that improve peopleвЂ™s lives, via employment, education and entertainment. In every project, our aim is to create a unique asset that generates pride and ownership within the local community.
Gain a glimpse into the people, projects and passions behind Aquamarine’s work, in our self-published periodical Insight. Each issue highlights a central theme and offers a perspective on the world we live in, while exploring concepts that influence our work and our thinking.
Biomes, the future of entertainmentDownload
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