Zoo Nursery / Carreño Sartori Arquitectos

© Marcos Mendizabal

Architects: Mario Carreño Zunino, Piera Sartori del Campo
Location: National Zoo, Santiago Metropolitan Park, Chile
Collaborator: Pamela Jarpa Rosa
Contractor: Constructora Arquios Ltda.
Structural Engineering: Ingevsa ltda.
Electrical Engineering: ICG S.A.
Services: Patricio Vega Vásquez
Landscape: Piera Sartori del Campo, Pamela Jarpa Rosa
Zoo Technical Consultant: Equipo Zoológico Nacional
Site Area: 63 sqm
Constructed Area: 115 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Marcos Mendizabal

Santiago Metropolitan Park covers an area of 722 ha. at San Cristobal Hill. Inside the park, the 5,6 ha. Zoo was founded at 1925. This historical condition involves a question of some complexity: the difficulties of space for animals are opposed to the virtue in their location, close to the city in a slope with a strong natural character and an open view of Santiago. The policy followed so far has been to improve the general conditions of the existing Zoo location, developing various infrastructure and management projects.


In this context, we`ve designed a series of buildings: Management Building, Veterinary Hospital and Nursery. In all three projects, different uses run simultaneously. This divergence is solved constructively with concrete basements and upper floors of light structure, where different uses are listed.

© Marcos Mendizabal

The relationship between time and place transforms the different places in of a sort of a built organism, structured by a general path that works as the largest element, which has received a series of constructions and watching balconies that are the tour of the Zoo.

The three-dimensional condition of the hill determinates the whole complex, which generates a series of mismatches.

site plan

The three buildings are thought as a prosthesis system for this mismatched organism, including always a new course of ramps or stairs, which adds to the existing road, opens latent space possibilities.


The Nursery is a building where mammals will be raised at first level, and cold rain forest amphibians at the top level. The temperatures of each compartment, five in total, must be independently controlled.

© Marcos Mendizabal

A three-dimensional corner of the slope -as we have understood the place- is taken up by a tower building set in a very small interstitial site. The design and construction process are thought without touching the existing stone walls facing the visitor route.

This vertical vacuum start at level 0.00 m. opened to the south and ends in another level opened to the east at 5.40 m. Currently there is a delay of one minute in the climbing road course between both soils. The building adds an internal service staircase, generating a trail system. Once up, you see where you come from and look to the city. The built volume therefore takes care of these views.

© Marcos Mendizabal

The idea was to preserve an open place, so the building clears it, based on a buried work space and keeping the distant view of the hillside, the road and city.

The insulation thickness is shown by the structure and the layer of spaced timber will shade and ventilate the body of the building, which eventually will be covered by plants.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Zoo Nursery / Carreño Sartori Arquitectos" 08 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=67789>
  • Adrian

    Nice Work! I really enjoy chilean architecture.


    Beautiful staircase. Love it.

  • eili

    ..can´t believe the staircase handrail is so insecure with its missing crossbraces – its a nursery !!!!

    • sullka

      …errrrrr…..having reading comprehension issues?

      In case you missed the project’s title: “Zoo Nursery”

      and If you didn’t read the text:

      “The Nursery is a building where mammals will be raised at first level, and cold rain forest amphibians at the top level.”

  • patricio silva

    great work comgratulations

  • Andrei P

    Beautiful. I love the way materials connect.

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