Imagine a zoo where animals are free to roam while humans quietly observe. Danish architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) set out to make this a reality with their plan for redesigning Zootopia, a zoo in the city of Givskud. Far from “traditional” zoos where the cages set the distinction between man and beast, BIG’s plan is to create an atmosphere that is experiential to both animals and humans. The innovative project sets out to interweave the viewing areas and the animals’ homes into one coexisting landscape. Each animal habitat will replicate the creatures’ natural surroundings while allowing for the inclusion of hidden viewing structures. The zoo will be divided into three adjoining areas: America, Africa, and Asia. Each location is accessible from routes stemming from the visitor center, where patrons can explore the differently themed continents by hiking, sailing, or flying inside mirrored transportation pods. By creating non-intrusive environments, BIG’s hope is that the experience will be mutually beneficial, writing in their project statement: “Who knows [sic] perhaps a rhino could teach us something about how we live — or could live in the future?”
Bjarke Ingels Group’s Zootopia (Givskud, Denmark) is expected to be completed in 2019.
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