Zoo Zoo / Hyunjoon Yoo Architects

© Seunghoon Yum

Architects: Hyunjoon Yoo Architects
Location: 290 Gwansang-dong, Dukyang-gu, Goyang-si, Geonggi-do, Korea
Client: Zoo Zoo
Collaborators: Eo Architectural Office, Daikyung Construction Co.
Project Area: Lion Theater / 379.78 sqm, Crocodile Theater / 417.17 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographs: Seunghoon Yum

© Seunghoon Yum


“Zoo Zoo” is filled with too much content of reptiles’ exhibition hall, Crocodile Theater, Lion Theater, Sea Lion Theater, etc within a relatively small size site. It might be required four times of current size to accommodate all kinds of programs on the zoo. In spite of this limited condition, this zoo is always crowded with elementary students in Seoul and Geonggi-do area visit this zoo to have an experience of touching animals. The site is located near by the river and the site have a very high chance of flood during the raining season due to the low site level.

© Seunghoon Yum

Client’s Request

The client wanted to have lot of eve space for the visitors to avoid shower and direct sunlight for luch time. The best solution for three condition; maximizing the use of small site, avoiding flood, and avoiding rainfall was simple. The answer was “piloti.” However piloti can cause too high building blocking the beautiful sky and scenery. So we had to design low height builiding with piloti space by utilizing underneath of sloped seats of theater.

crocodile theater concept diagram
lion theater concept diagram

Mass Shape

There are two buildings. One is a “lion theater” and the other is a “crocodile theater.” While keeping the design concept of utilizing underneath of the seats, the building shape is defined by the shape of the site. The lion theater mass is molded by the parallelogram shape site and 20 degree seats slope of the client’s requestion. Crocodile theater mass is molded by the distorted round shape island site and 37 degree slope seats. This condition produced three dimensional curve line edge at the elevation. This arbitrary lookalike masses are actually casted logically by the requested seat slope and site shape.

© Seunghoon Yum

Asymmetry Mass

Current Zoo Zoo architectural environment is chaotic because of complex program, too many client’s stone sculptures collection and many kinds of trees. Therefore newly constructed building has to be simple to give a visual rest, and to work as a landmark giving visitors sense of relative location within the zoo. As a solution for these needs, we designed the building minimal white mass of asymmetry shape.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Zoo Zoo / Hyunjoon Yoo Architects" 09 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=87520>
  • Mark

    What do these objects have to do with a zoo? Those ‘theaters’ in no way relate to the activities occuring within or the context outside. And does stark white really make the most sense to contain animals?

    Humans rarely care to live in utterly minimalist space, do gators?

    I’m fine with deconstructivist blobs as much as the next architect, but show me some relationships.

  • Joseph

    Very elegant design. Nice work.
    This reminds me Alvaro Siza

  • Gordon Anderson

    Awful awful way to treat animals in this day and age. I would think this is something that architects would refuse to participate in. Harks back to the dark ages of zoos. Thought everyone knew better.