In 1934, during the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese (1912-1943), following a decision of the Italian governor Μario Lago, the building of the “Reale Istituto di Ricerche Biologiche di Rodi” commenced, in the far north cape of the island. The construction was completed by 1935. In 1937 the building began to operate, studying the hydrobiology, the sponges, fisheries of the Aegean sea and hosting an aquarium with interesting species of the marine fauna of the Mediterranean.
Designed by Armando Barnabiti, the building combines local architectural elements with Art Déco elements of curved lines and circular windows, along with a dominant cylindrical tower. The decoration of the main entrance draws inspiration from the marine environment. The Aquarium consists of a corridor, with small tanks, that host marine species on both sides, made of stone and decorated by natural shells, featuring an underwater cave, while the floor is paved by white and black pebbles, featuring marine species.