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The Projects



The town of Sénart, situated southeast of Paris, is in full expansion. Endowed with an establishment for public development, this community of around a dozen districts from Seine-et-Marne and Essone has undertaken the construction of a large building they've named Carré Senart (Senart Square). In this quadrilateral building of 196 hectares, you'll find lodgings (12,000 residencies), businesses (10,000 jobs), a commercial centre, and a cinema complex among other things...all for a public investment that amounts to 1.3 billion euro. But what interests above all is of course the "Grand Aquarium of Ile-de-France" which will be in the heart of the Cité des Loisirs du Carré (Leisure Area of the Carré) (neighbouring the discotheque, go-cart and roller blade tracks, and bowling alleys). The aquarium is all the more interesting since the Ile-de-France region doesn't have that many giant aquariums. Of course Val d'Europe (not far from Disneyland Paris) and the aquarium of the Museum of African and Oceanic Arts do exist, but this project is of another scale altogether.
The investment alone speaks for itself: the initial 45 million euros will be increased by a further 15 million euros for the expansion of the park, which will go from an area of 22,000 m2 at its opening to 30,000m2 by 2010.


The key themes professed by those who came up with the concept for this park dedicated to the sea and aquatic life in general are: discovery, emotion, relaxation, and awareness. The park will be organised along six main lines. Magic of the Seas will consists of a visit to aquariums displaying a selection of carefully chosen fauna. Tropical Waters will allow for a walk in a large glasshouse, a faithful reconstitution of a luxurious tropical forest. The Austral Park will be a theatre for spectacles of sea animals such as penguins and seals that hail from the cold seas. Aquatic Parc, with waterslides, wave pools, and slow rivers, will have "aqualand" type attractions. 2000 Leagues Under the Seas, where the public is immersed in a capsule that takes them on a trip to encounter under water fauna, will be one of the strong points of the park. And finally there will be the Central Mall that will include shops and restaurants as well as a 3D cinema and multimedia centre. Those that pushed the project from the start are not unaware of the economic consequences: 1 million visitors are expected the first year of operations, which begins spring 2004.


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