Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond / Studio Gang Architects

Courtesy of

The project transforms a picturesque urban pond from the 19th century into an ecological habitat buzzing with life. With the design’s improvements to water quality, hydrology, landscape, accessibility, and shelter, the site is able to function as an outdoor classroom in which the co-existence of natural and urban surroundings is demonstrated.

Architect: Studio Gang Architects
Client: Lincoln Park Zoo
Project Area: 4 acres
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Beth Zacherle and Studio Gang Architects

© Beth Zacherle

A new boardwalk circumscribing the pond passes through various educational zones that explicate the different animals, plants, and habitat found in each. A pavilion integrated into the boardwalk sequence provides shelter for open-air classrooms on the site. Inspired by the tortoise shell, its laminated structure consists of prefabricated, bent-wood members and a series of interconnected fiberglass pods that give global curvature to the surface.

exploded axon
Cite: Minner, Kelly. "Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond / Studio Gang Architects" 22 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    So nice structure… Well done object…

  • shetu

    Its beautiful.

  • eric

    Interesting structurally, I like the fiberglass panels. The connections look like an afterthought, some are countersunk and others aren’t, I would have liked to see some thought put into making that detail disappear. Then there’s the fact that it’s just a half tube, a fancy tunnel. I would like to have seen more thought put into site specificity such as a front and a back or a gesture that snakes or reaches out to or away from something. But that’s just my .02

  • mike

    looks like a slightly altered copy of what Rural Studio did….