Text description provided by the architects. The new Woodland Park Zoo West Entrance replaces the old north and west entrances providing amenities and services in an arrangement that allows large numbers of guests to enter the zoo quickly, while maintaining a scale intimate enough to be enjoyed by small groups or individuals. The zoo entrance is meant to be experienced as a node along a larger path around Woodland Park. With a variety of opportunities for seating or gathering, the plaza is a civic space enjoyed by zoo patrons and the public at large.
Visitors encounter a plaza where the location of services is logical, and the procession from ticket purchase to zoo entrance, intuitive. The buildings and landscaping form two outdoor spaces: an exterior plaza, open to the public, and an interior plaza that is one of three major hubs along the main loop path within the zoo. A pergola with sliding gates separates the plazas. The zoo store breaks the strong horizontal datum established by the other west entry buildings, distinguishing it as a memorable landmark that helps orient visitors to their place of entry after they’ve completed their circuit through the zoo.
The rational design of the West Entry reflects the values of a science-based organization whose mission is to educate patrons about the need for preservation of wild animal habitat. Forms and materials have been carefully considered to provide an architectural presence that is refined in form and durable in materiality. The project is LEED Gold certified.
Text provided by Weinstein A|U