The impacts of architecture on the quality of human life are often debated, and in the 21st century, projects are under greater scrutiny than ever for the experiences they provide for people. Buildings all over the world must address a specific context, responding to the cultural framework of their users.
In light of this, we’ve gathered 8 projects that have a different sort of user -- projects designed not just for people, but also for animals. Ranging from zoo buildings to aquariums, stables and shelters, these projects have the unique challenge of balancing a human and animal experience. See them all after the break.
Located in Copenhagen Zoo, the walls of this enclosure are hidden by an elongated pool of water, adding an element of surprise to zoo visitors as they stumble upon these giant mammals. Not only that, but the building set a new, higher standard for the well-being of its inhabitants at the time of its creation. A large enclosure allows elephants to sleep together, as in the wild, and floors are heated to keep them dry, maintaining the health of the elephants’ feet. Recreated natural elements like a dry riverbed and mud holes improve the experience of the elephants.
An addition to the “Rainforest Trail” at Melbourne Zoo, the Lemur Exhibit is comprised of two parts: an Entry Tunnel and a Treehouse. The exhibit itself is situated within the actual Lemur enclosure, allowing a more intimate interaction between visitors and the lemurs. The project specifies repurposed materials with low-life cycle impact, as well as a modifying an existing waterway for the exhibit, informing visitors of the potential of sustainability in its own design.
Located on the Mornington Peninsula of Australia, south of Melbourne, this equestrian centre was requested to be sympathetic to the surrounding landscape. Using a limited palate of materials and gently curved form, the building fits naturally into its surroundings.
Designed as a replacement for the previous Danish Aquarium, The Blue Planet is sited in a new location, just eight kilometers from Copenhagen City Hall Square. Considered one of Denmark’s five greatest tourist attractions, in 2012, the project was chosen as Denmark’s best lighthouse project within experience economy at the tourism conference, “A New Way to Grow”.
Designed for the training and dispatch of police dogs, the Canine Brigade is sited in an industrial area, hostile to the presence of police. An open courtyard connects administration buildings and offices with living areas for dogs, and provides the main training ground.
In Almere, Netherlands, most parts of the city have a petting farm. This project replaces the former petting farm of “den Uyl” park. Using wooden shutters to automatically open and close with the sun’s rising and setting, the building lights at night to become a beacon in the park. Most impressively, the entire project was realized using only sponsored money.
Located in a larger attraction on Al Noor Island, United Arab Emirates, the Butterfly Aviary creates a multi-sensory experience for visitors. Its iconic golden roof drapes over the aviary with leaf-like patterns, while organically shaped skylights and all-over glazing merge the sky and ground planes. These elements combine to create a unique sense of light in the biotope.
A strongly defined form and proximity to a pond create an eye-catching petting zoo for pedestrians to experience. Working closely with veterinarians during its construction, the entire building is made of untreated larch wood, and is made to resemble the natural habitats of the animals it houses.