National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

New York, NY

We often experience the majesty of the ocean during events like Shark Week or on programs like Planet Earth. Now, in true New York City fashion, visitors to National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey can explore the ocean in a fully immersive and interactive venue, without needing a wetsuit or scuba gear! As Architect of Record, we coordinated the technology, design and engineering that went into the Encounter, including a new retail space, located in Times Square.

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is an underwater world where guests can get hands-on, face-to-face interactions with creatures and ecosystems found all over the world. Highly complex audio/visual components provide the illusion of a deep-sea dive with photo-realistic 8K video and crystal-clear audio. Each Encounter is styled to represent coral reefs, kelp forests, and other fantastical elements. Visitors can go from high-fiving virtual sea lions that respond to integrated motion-tracking sensors to fully immersion into an exciting 3-D feeding frenzy in the final Encounter. Behind-the-scenes insights into the science of their voyage are also on display through interactive tabletops and wall displays that integrate projection mapping technology.

We brought together a team of experts that specialized in the technology and exhibit design that allow guests to seamlessly see, hear, and feel what it’s like to live under the sea. Our job was to verify that, once construction was complete, the elements of the space worked cohesively before opening day. We coordinated with the New York City Department of Buildings to bring all levels of the exhibition up to the latest ADA standards and meet all egress, occupancy, and safety requirements.

A private event space with multimedia screens, lounge areas, a DJ booth, stage, and even room for a dance floor provides a unique venue for all types of events. Lights designed to resemble jellyfish and projections of undersea creatures continue the underwater theme throughout the space.