Best Building on the Endangered-Species List (2002)
Ocean Journey was just hours from going extinct when it was pulled back from the brink on April 1. Let's hope that Ocean Journey, the aquarium, survives bankruptcy, because Ocean Journey, the building, is a very fine structure that was conceived to the nth degree when it was built in 1999. Not only does it sport state-of-the-art technical features that support the wide array of aquatic life inside, but it also contains artwork specifically made for the place. Odyssea, a once-only collaboration between Anderson Mason Dale and RNL Design, two of the city's most respected architectural firms, designed the Platte Valley building. The principal designer was Ron Mason. His concept, a brick core partly surrounded by undulating steel and glass walls that form a grand porchlike atrium overlooking the Platte River, created a monumental presence that goes way beyond the structure's actual size. We fell for this building hook, line and sinker.