Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest and Entrance Precinct

Adelaide
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Architects
HASSELL
Location
Adelaide
Year
2009

The Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct breathes new life into a once-neglected part of the City of Adelaide in Australia. Dispensing with the traditional boundary between the Zoo and its surrounds, the new entrance invites visitors to view the sights and sounds of the Zoo from public forecourts. The Zoo boasts Australia’s first purpose-designed ‘green roof' to support wildlife shelter and extensive ‘living walls’ of native plants, making it a significant horticultural park and research centre as well as a world class zoo.

The result of an ambitious integration of physical, cultural and organisational strategies, the Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct was designed around the core drivers of conservation, environment, education, and research.

The Entrance Precinct comprises a series of interlinked forecourts that unfold over 2000 square metres to create a natural transition and physical connection between the roads, parklands and waterways. These new links through the forecourts provide access to cafes and exhibitions via safe, lit pathways, and remediate a once unsafe part of Botanic Park – demonstrating the transformative capacity of urban design to promote safe, healthy and liveable cities.

The journey through the Giant Panda Forest provides visitors with an immersive experience of the Chinese Highlands and enables a variety of viewing opportunities, educational and recreational.

The exhibit aims to exceed best proactive animal management and accommodates a pair of adolescent giant pandas, Wang Wang and Funi. The main panda holding area is a state-of-the-art facility, with water features, chilled rocks and mature trees. Red pandas and Mandarin ducks also provide the visitor with an educational experience and a close up encounter with these endangered and iconic animals.

The aim of the exhibit is to convey an understanding of both the natural habitat of the giant pandas and the current context of research and conservation efforts which are strongly associated with the Wolong Sanctuary, the original home of Wang Wang and Funi.

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