Danish architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) have just released ambitious designs for a zoo in Givskud, Denmark. It’s a project that provides an intriguing opportunity for, as BIG explains, the creation of a space with “the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors.” The firm has been working for the past two years to make Zootopia what the Danish press is calling “the world’s most advanced zoo.” According to Givskud Zoo‘s director Richard Østerballe, the park’s transformation will benefit greatly from BIG’s fresh approach to design–one that has been characterized by the integration of nature and natural elements into cutting-edge, innovative architecture.
The project will attempt to “integrate and hide buildings” within the landscape. Upon entering the zoo, visitors can either enter a large central square or climb the “building-landscape,” allowing them to get a general overview of the layout of the park. From this central element, visitors can access different areas of the zoo. A 4km hiking trail connects the different areas (which represent the continents of Africa, America and Asia).
The first phase is expected to be completed in 2019 to coincide with the park’s 50th anniversary.
Read on for more images and BIG’s project statement.
From the Architect. Architects’ greatest and most important task is to design man-made ecosystems – to ensure that our cities and buildings suit the way we want to live. We must make sure that our cities offer a generous framework for different people – from different backgrounds, economy, gender, culture, education and age – so they can live together in harmony while taking into account individual needs as well as the common good. Nowhere is this challenge more acrimonious than in a zoo. It is our dream – with Givskud – to create the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors.
To create a framework for such diverse users and residents such as gorillas, wolves, bears, lions and elephants is an extremely complex task. We are pleased to embark on an exciting journey of discovery with the Givskud staff and population of animals – and hope that we could both enhance the quality of life for the animals as well as the keepers and guests – but indeed also to discover ideas and opportunities that we will be able to transfer back into the urban jungle. Who knows perhaps a rhino can teach us something about how we live – or could live in the future?
Status: In Progress
Size in m2: 1200000
Project type: Commission
Client: Givskud Zoo
Location: Givskud, Denmark
Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange
Project Leader: Nanna Gyldholm Møller
Team: Aleksander Wadas, Thomas Juul Jensen, Romain Pequin, Agnete Jukneviciute, Sofia Adolfsson and Maren Allen
Story via vafo.dk, images and project info courtesy of BIG.