Reynolds Polymer Technology Debuts Some of World's Most Complex Acrylic Windows at New California Academy of Sciences Building

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Some of the world's most complex acrylic windows show off marine life in a new way at the new California Academy of Sciences building. One of the windows is the world's first double-radius window, curving gently from left-to-right and from top-to-bottom, while another window resembles the profile shape of the letter "J," with a bulbous curve near the bottom of the window.

Reynolds Polymer Technology (RPT) continues to reaffirm its place as one of the world's leading acrylic manufacturers and designers with the installation of 18 acrylic windows at the new California Academy of Sciences building.

"All of the windows we installed offer unique views of the marine life," said Roger R. Reynolds III, CEO of RPT. "The Academy wanted windows that allowed visitors to experience the marine life in new ways. As a result, many of the windows are formed into unusual shapes to allow this visitor interaction."

Stephanie Stone, Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Academy, explains that with the new building, "We are striving to provide rich, immersive experiences with nature that will inspire our visitors to protect the world around them. The large, innovative aquarium windows manufactured by Reynolds Polymer Technology are helping us make those connections with our visitors every day."

At the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit, for instance, the massive double-radius window allows visitors to step into an area that allows them to look overhead at the marine life and also look left or right at the marine life surrounding them - essentially allowing them to step into the actual aquarium. This window measures nearly 30 feet in length and more than 15 feet tall and is one of the first double-radius windows installed in an aquarium. With walls monolithically cast at eight inches thick to withstand the water pressure, the window weighs in at an impressive 15 tons.

"This window was a first for us," explained Reynolds. "It challenged us in every stage of the design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation phases. But we knew that this window was something we could do, we just had to find the right mix of everything to get it to work."

In a similar experience, visitors at the Flooded Amazon Tunnel exhibit can walk through a perfectly clear and seamless acrylic tunnel to see the Amazonian life swimming above and around them and see up close how that life utilizes the large root systems of trees along the Amazon for food and for shelter. The tunnel measures 19 feet long, 13 feet wide, and more than 7 feet tall.

Measuring 15 feet wide and nearly 11 feet tall, the window at the shallow end of the main reef exhibit also allows a bit of a different view on the marine life. Bowed inward into the aquarium near the bottom of the panel, the window looks like the letter "J" from the side profile which allows visitors to lean forward and see the marine life up close.

The last of the largest windows RPT installed sits in the Northern California Coast exhibit. This window is rare as it creates a seamless 90 degree angle to serve as the corner of the exhibit. Visitors have nearly 38 feet of horizontal viewing area that extends 12 feet high. Cast at over eight inches thick to suppress the water pressure at the installed depth, the window tips the scales at nearly 15 tons.

In addition to these four windows, RPT manufactured and installed 14 other acrylic windows throughout the exhibits at the Academy, as well as a diorama made of tempered glass and acrylic.

About Reynolds Polymer Technology, Inc.

Reynolds Polymer Technology is known as the leading manufacturer, fabricator, designer, and installer of R-Castâ„¢ acrylic and resin sheets. Their products have been used extensively in the architectural, signage, aquarium, furniture, and scientific industries worldwide. With more than 25 years' experience, RPT is constantly raising the standard for what can be done with acrylic and resins. Headquartered in Grand Junction, Colorado, RPT also has operations in Rayong, Thailand. Visit for more information.

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