Redevelopment of 1960s zoo in Denmark breaks down the traditional boundaries between zoo animals and park visitors
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Givskud Zoo in Denmark have released renderings and early details of a redevelopment plan for the animal park, with Phase I due to open to the public in time for Givskud Zoo’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
The proposal rethinks the traditional zoo system and removes many of the boundaries often found in parks of this nature, creating a 120-hectare environment where wildlife and people can co-exist.
An announcement of the project on BIG’s website reads: “Architects’ greatest and most important task is to design man-made ecosystems - to ensure that our cities and buildings suit the way we want to live.
"We must make sure that our cities offer a generous framework for different people - from different backgrounds, economy, gender, culture, education and age - so they can live together in harmony while taking into account individual needs as well as the common good.
“Nowhere is this challenge more acrimonious that in a zoo. It is our dream - with Givskud - to create the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors.”
Referring to the gorillas, wolves, bears, lions and elephants that live at the park as ‘users’ in a longer project description, BIG has taken measures to ensure the quality of life of these animals as well as the keepers and guests, with landscaping that mimics their natural environments in the wild.
Visitors will enter the park one of two ways: via a central hard-paved square which wraps around itself to create a smooth gateway; or by climbing the arrival building to survey the zoo from an elevated position. From here, there are three areas open to the guests: America, Africa and Asia.
A 4km hiking trail weaves its way through the three areas and a road rings the perimeter but there are other methods of transportation on hand should visitors wish to use them. Guests are invited to cycle through the African park, sail down the river in the African section, or take a cable car flight through the American segment.