The 16-meter-high aquarium, containing 1,000 cubic meters of water, could never have exploded, even when faced with all “Hollywood scenarios”, its architect said in 2003.

The AquaDom explosion was inconceivable. In any case, for its architect. This Thursday morning, the glass walls of the cylindrical aquarium of the Radisson Collection Hotel in Berlin gave way, releasing a “tsunami” of more than 1000 cubic meters of water as well as the 1500 exotic fish present inside – for the most of them killed by the Berlin cold.

Two injuries and significant material damage in the hotel and its surroundings are to be deplored.

However, in 2003, during the inauguration of the aquarium, Michael Jessing, the architect of the project, brushed aside the “worst case scenarios”.

“Regarding the risk of destruction or vandalism, these questions have been examined,” he assured.

He had then developed: “It’s true that you can drill a small hole at most with small arms like that. A hole from which a little water could leak out but without blowing up the whole cylinder.”

The “Hollywood scenario” has come true

Even more confident, Michael Jessing had concluded: “Such Hollywood scenarios or worst-case scenarios cannot happen.”

Unfortunately for him, the first elements of the investigation point to “wear and tear of equipment” at the origin of the explosion, said the Minister of the Interior of the city Iris Spranger.

Nineteen years earlier, when it opened, the AquaDom, the work of Swiss hotelier Werner Knechtli – who died last August at the age of 72, according to the Swiss media 20 – broke the record for ” largest cylindrical aquarium in the world”. Werner Knechtli then intended, according to Blick , that through him the hotel would become a tourist attraction. Maybe not this way.


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