One of the companies currently expanding into the region is International Concept Management (ICM), a one-stop-shop for aquarium concept, design and manufacture who by opening a new office in Thailand are hoping to take advantage of the South East Asian boom in a way that will “turn their cities into world-class destinations” – but in doing so, can they also reverse the fortunes of the Bilbao effect?

ICM are no strangers to the Bilbao effect. Their monumental and technologically innovative aquariums are incredible feats of engineering, and as such they’re must-haves for blockbuster developments all over the world, from columns in Moscow to literally immersive lifts in Casablanca. Another of ICM’s projects, the striking Aquario Ceara, an enormous aquarium in Fortaleza, Brazil which ICM is overseeing, has come under criticism from local residents, magazine articles, and even academic research for fulfilling the other, less positive side of the Bilbao effect.