Odysea Aquarium
Hospitality & Entertainment — Scottsdale, AZ

OdySea Aquarium

OdySea Aquarium’s structure involved McCarthy pouring more than 12,000 cubic yards of concrete for its structural footings; 16 cast-in-place concrete aquatic tanks; 121 individual concrete structural columns; and 72 concrete tilt wall panels, which were assembled over eight days on-site and placed using a 300-ton tilt plane crawler crane. The largest panel placed weighs 220,000 pounds and is 60 feet high. 

Construction of the expansive structure also included the installation of 2 million pounds of steel and 1,198 beams; 5,455 linear feet of massive acrylic observation windows; and exhibits that hold more than 2 million gallons of water. The gigantic acrylic windows create unique observation tunnels within the aquarium, which visitors walk through and ride through on an escalator. Over 50 exhibits are maintained by 300 pumps and more than 42,000 linear feet of piping, including 11,000 linear feet of piping installed below grade.

Built on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community, the project design also incorporates native culture into the facility, including a courtyard, handrails inspired by ancient basket-weaving techniques, and tilt panels depicting rain, oceans and earth.

OdySea also boasts the SeaTREK® experience that allows guests to descend deep into the “ocean” where they are surrounded by sea life on all sides. There is also a state-of-the-art 3D movie featuring Underwater Giants, and exhibits including Rivers of the World, Otter Banks, Touch Pools, Penguin Point, Sharks of the Deep, the Great Barrier Reef, and “the Bizarre & Beautiful” featuring jellyfish, octopus, large king crabs and seahorses. The facility also includes the Lighthouse Cafe serving a full menu and light snacks, and the OdySea Treasures Gift Shop.

Completed in
18 months
cubic yards of concrete
Square Feet


  • Deutsch Architecture Group

Every morning I wake up and thank God I selected McCarthy to build the OdySea Aquarium.

Amram Knishinsky, Founder
OdySea Aquarium, LLC

I really appreciate all of the time and effort put in by the McCarthy team to help make our drawings the best they can be...I know we have all done our very best to make this project a success.

Daniel Van Cuyk
Caruso Turley Scott, Inc.


Antonya Williams

Antonya Williams

6225 N 24th St
Ste 200
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Awards and Recognition

ENR Southwest Logo
2017 ENR Best Project

OdySea Aquarium
ENR Southwest

AZRE logo
2017 RED Award

Recreation Winner
OdySea Aquarium
AZRE Commercial Real Estate