Giraffe House completes at Auckland Zoo

16 Jun 2014

Monk Mackenzie and Glamuzina Patterson design sleek giraffe breeding house

The blossoming giraffe population at Auckland Zoo have now been introduced to use their angular new breeding shelter designed by Monk Mackenzie and Glamuzina Patterson. Referred to by the design team as ‘essentially a functional oversized shed’ the Giraffe House provides two dens and a keeper area with optimum flexibility for all users.

The contrasting dimensions of humans and giraffes were carefully considered in the design, with a floor to ceiling high rising from 3m to 10m and the bulk of the building mass broken down by angular intersecting roof forms. Passers-by can clearly differentiate between the two dens by the junction where the two roof volumes meet.

A mezzanine level has been integrated so that vets and keepers can interact with and unobtrusively observe the animals whilst they remain unhindered in the dens below. This floor can also be used by small groups of visitors to the zoo for educational and enjoyment purposes.

Access to the adjoining yards is achieved through four large sliding doors and keepers may access the bulk of the Giraffe House via a door in the lowest point in the roof. Shots of vivid yellow lift the otherwise neutral colour palette as the human door and stairway are hued in sunny tones.

Monk Mackenzie comments: "Working to a tight budget, the view was taken that a unique, fit for purpose shelter could be produced using a simple, reduced palette of locally sourced materials and vernacular construction methodologies."


Architect: Monk Mackenzie with Glamuzina Patterson
Design team: Hamish Monk, Aaron Paterson, Dominic Glamuzina, Miguel Machado
Client: Auckland Zoo
Contractor: Mainzeal with Tadem Construction
Structural Engineer: Steve Dwyer, Thorne Dwyer Structures
Quantity Surveyor: Paul Ranum, Mallard, Cooke & Brown
Surveyor: Frear Surveyors
Geotechnical Consultant: Bryce Schou, Geoconsult
Fire Consultant: Paramjit Bhatti, Asset Care
Project Manager: Saiful Islam & Matt Wheeler, Beca
Photography: Mark Smith and Jonny Davis

Key Facts

New Zealand
Civic Buildings

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