The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest | Hassell

• July 31, 2010

The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest designed by Australian practice Hassell is built by bamboo as responding to the pandas’ native Chinese heritage within an Australian context. 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 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.

A series of ‘pavilions’ in the landscape frame a changing relationship between the public and the pandas, providing alternating views of landscape, animal behaviour and habitat.

Hassell

+ Project description courtesy Hassell

The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest is one of only eight exhibits of its kind in the world and the first in the southern hemisphere. The design of the Panda Forest embodies the Zoo’s core principles of environment, education, conservation and research and redefines the concept of a zoo in the 21st century – as a contemporary conservation organisation with vital breeding and research programs.

01 GiantPandaForest PeterBennetts HASSELL plusMOOD 595x445 The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest | Hassell

The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest, image courtesy Hassell | Photo by Peter Bennetts

The architecture and landscape responds to the pandas’ native Chinese heritage within an Australian context, balancing the need to provide the pandas with choices, comfort and stimuli while providing management flexibility for keepers and excellent viewing access for visitors.

A series of ‘pavilions’ in the landscape frame a changing relationship between the public and the pandas, providing alternating views of landscape, animal behaviour and habitat.

03 GiantPandaForest BenWrigley HASSELL plusMOOD 595x396 The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest | Hassell

The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest, image courtesy Hassell | Photo by Ben Wrigley

Solar orientation was an imperative factor in site planning to maximise the opportunities for the giant pandas to use the 600 square metre external exhibits. Chilled rocks, streams and waterfalls for bathing, mature shade trees for climbing, and glass reinforced concrete caves for shade and shelter create a comfortable and stimulating environment for the animals.

The holding building sets new standards for the management of giant pandas, providing keepers with flexibility and control and housing a research facility with 24-hour Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and observation.

08 GiantPandaForest BenWrigley 595x396 The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest | Hassell

The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest, image courtesy Hassell | Photo by Ben Wrigley

A central glazed axis provides public views of research, food preparation and holding facilities. The sheltered public viewing terrace incorporates a giant underslung bamboo canopy and large sliding screens to accommodate crowds and manage privacy.

09 GiantPandaForect ExhibitPlanLegend 1 HASSELL plusMOOD 595x842 The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest | Hassell

The Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest - Layout plan, drawing courtesy Hassell

+ Project credits / data

Architect: Hassell
Project: Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda Forest
Location: Adelaide, SA, Australia
Client:  Adelaide Zoo
Scale: 5,150 sqm
Completion Date: 2009
Photography: Ben Wrigley, Peter Bennetts

+ All images and drawings courtesy Hassell

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Category: Architecture, Culture, Landscape, Selected

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