Text description provided by the architects. BVN were commissioned in 2004 by the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales to design and document the new upper entrance, carpark and lower entrance for Taronga Park Zoo. The project was one of a series of major projects progressively being planned and implemented in accordance with the masterplan for Taronga Zoo. The masterplan provides a framework for the Zoo’s renovation, refurbishment and redevelopment over a 12 year period.
During a six month schematic design and design development period regular design meetings were held with the Taronga stakeholders including the Director and CEO, Life Sciences, Education and Interpretation Managers, Guest and Commercial Operations Managers, Marketing Managers and Capital Works and Infrastructure, along with Taronga Park Zoo’s Cost Planner to develop a design and detailed cost plan for the project.
BVN consulted at length with the following authorities: Heritage Office of NSW, DIPNR; Mosman Council; Sydney Buses; National Parks and Wildlife Service; Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA); Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority; and Mosman Residents.
The design of the main upper entry to the Zoo involved provision of additional visitor parking, a new bus and coach bay and dedicated coach parking, a new ‘outer plaza’ pedestrian area, heritage refurbishment of the upper entrance building and tram shed and a new public access ‘inner plaza’ operating as a decomposition zone on entry to the zoo. New buildings include a shop and café, and a ‘facilities building’ housing ticketing sales, information, hire, toilets and offices along with interpretation of the precinct itself and the exhibits immediately adjacent to it.
The proposal seeks to engage with and respond to the extraordinary potential of the site. Design principals put emphasis on:
-- The ‘wall’ - the zoo as a garden enclosure
-- The sandstone plateau - a passive edge overlooking the zoo
-- Giant fig trees
-- The historical tradition of the pavilion in a garden
The third phase of the project was recently completed at end of 2011.