Monterey, CA

Monterey Bay Aquarium


Structural (Design)

Geotechnical Engineering

Structural Engineering


130,000 sf (original building)

Key Info

Projects: Aquarium, Aquarium Research Institute, and Animal Research Care Center

The award-winning aquarium is located on Monterey's historic Cannery Row. The project involved installing two 335,000-gallon reinforced concrete tanks on decks built largely over piers. It also involved inserting six large, high-rate sand filters and several thousand feet of corrosion-resistant piping. The seawater system draws water directly from Monterey Bay to provide a more natural habitat for marine life within the Aquarium's walls. The system also uses seawater for cooling within the building.The second phase of construction involved the addition of the Outer Bay Waters wing, which includes a million-gallon seawater tank that features one of the largest acrylic windows in the world. Rutherford + Chekene provided structural, geotechnical and life-support system engineering for the original aquarium and structural engineering for the Outer Bay Waters wing expansion.R+C has also served as structural engineer for buildings at the Aquarium's Moss Landing research institute, which features a 30-foot diameter tank to raise fish for exhibits, and the Animal Research Care Center in Marina, CA. Our work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium continues today as we provide engineering for upgrades and improvements throughout the Aquarium's facilities.

Alan Kren


When not otherwise pursuing the perfect wave or swimming an open-water race, Alan oversees a studio of talented and energetic engineers working on projects that run the gamut from aquaria, state of the art university laboratories, civic theaters, student housing, to repair of waterfront constructions, restoration of historic works, and structural peer review. Alan is fluent in all structural materials, understands their possibilities and limitations, and knows how to craft them to meet project goals. He is sensitive to client needs and demands and understands the pressures architects, designers and owners work under. His philosophy is to always bring enthusiasm and solutions to the client, to listen and find what he can give to realize the vision, to work as a team member, to make the project a positive experience for all involved. And being an engineer, he is practical and prudent in his solutions, cognizant of cost, constructability, and schedule.

Alan’s more notable projects include the restoration and revitalization of San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, repair and restoration of the historic Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle San Simeon State Park, and the Science and Engineering 2 laboratory building at UC Merced. Alan is a lecturer at UC Berkeley where he teaches “Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures.” He takes pride and receives enormous satisfaction teaching at his alma mater and loves the energy and enthusiasm the students bring to class.

Civic | Cultural

Leavening peerless structural engineering skill with humor, philosophy, people skills and, above all, a consummate understanding of San Francisco's permitting process, [Alan] saw this project through.