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Tallin Zoo Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest

Tallinn Zoo, Tallinn, Estonia 

November 2017 - Present  


A year-around experience of rainforest to increase visitor attraction of the zoo especially during cold season. The Cloud Forest represents unique and fragile environment of high elevation forest habitats of south-east asia. To visit, Zoo guests set on a journey through an underground tunnel experiencing tactile, low light and auditory impressions of rainforest before they enter into green lush forest experiencing sensory richness and opportunities for water and whole-body play. The signature exhibit are underwater viewing of fishing cat, a large otters, tutles, and binturong exhibit and well as a walk-through small mammal aviary. A touch waterfall invited for water play and a cave is home to flying foxes and terraria with additional rare and interesting species. After visiting the rainforest hall the zoo guest will play and relax in interpretive gallery featuring augmented reality theater, conservation and science games, and virtual reality interpretives, as well as hugging orangutans and informal decompression room / classroom. The grand finale of the Cloud Forest experience is a restaurant with view into grand rainforest landscape as well as view of the neighbouring Amur Tigers. 

Helsinki Zoo

Renovation of Tropical House Amazonia

Helsinki Zoo, Helsinki, Finland
July 2016 - Present


Zoo Design Inc was contacted to improve the structure of an existing Tropical house while optimizing conditions for animal wellness and enriching visitor experience. The exhibit's message of "Save the Rainforest" is communicated through an immersive, sensory experience of the jungle environment. A multi-level boardwalk winds through the forest improving views to all animal habitats while increasing visitor capacity. Other immersive features include a hanging bridge, a 2-story waterfall and an upper level garden that offers visitors the experience of the rainforest canopy. The redesign is complete with an educational area for Zookeeper talks as well as an optional exhibition or cafe area. In line with low energy goals, the roof is redesigned with optimal natural lighting through themed skylights. The back of house is reformatted for safety and convenience of Zookeepers and staff. A themed tunnel connects to the near-by tropical house Africasia, thus maintaining the immersive experience. 

Dublin Zoo Wolves

Wolf in the Woods

Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland
​August - December 2016


This immersive wolf exhibit is sited on a steep slope with naturally constrained viewing opportunities. Two viewing structures were added which provide wide landscape views and close-up, intimate views of the wolves. The forested exhibit and visitors’ path gives the feeling of being immersed in natural wolf habitat. Additionally, the new exhibit landscape was modified to direct views and create an exciting and varied environment for the wolves and visitors alike.

Lion Exhibit

Ljubljana Zoo, Ljubljana, Slovenia
February 2016 - June 2017


Design of a 900m2 lion habitat, visitors’ experience, and lion holding building. The experience features a viewing shelter with a training wall for lions, view over a water moat into the lion habitat and across a dry moat into a borrowed landscape of African savanna habitat, elevated viewpoints for lions, hot rocks and close views of lions on exhibit, and in their interior living room. Estimated construction budget Euro 600,000.

Ljubljana Zoo Lions
Wildcare ambassador animals

WildCare Ambassador Animal Habitats, Interpretive & Signage

San Rafael, California, USA
​December 2015 - Present


WildCare ‘Living well with wildlife’ an organization which takes care of urban wildlife, contracted Fairchild Brooms Architects and Zoo Design Inc to adopt a new space, previously prison barracks, for their organization’s purposes. The project includes state-of-art animal hospital and reintroduction center; courtyard for visitors featuring animal habitats and ‘nature play’ playground; an indoor interpretive center, a great hall for events, classrooms, and offices. Estimated Construction Budget $14,000, 000. Estimated date of completion September 2017.

WildCar Discovery center

WildCare Terwilliger Discovery Center

San Rafael, California, USA
​December 2015 - Present


Discovery Center serves as an intruduction to work and mission of WildCare. It is a gate to area of courtyard with ambasador amimals’ habitats, as well as a center of play and education. It features activities such as animal play hospital and a reselase forest where children role-play the activities that WildCare staff uses to rehabilitate animals such as x-raying, examining, treating, feeding and training. Opposite the animal hospital is an California habitats diorama featuring jewel box exhibit of live animals as well as taxadermy. Intermingled throughout the Discovery Center are other interpretive features such coyote pinball, an augmented reality kiosk and a climb and play mother oak tree .


Tropicarium - Большая охота - Concept Study and Schematic Design
Moscow Zoo, Moscow, Russia

August 2015


​Concept Study and Schematic Design for indoor tropical species habitat experience at the Moscow zoo. The story is inspired by a book Большая охота (The Big Hunt) by A. B. Svirin, a classic of Russian scientific and educational literature. Svirin’s books helped several generations of soviet school children to enter the knowledge of secrets and mysteries of the natural world. The story is similar to a game, where adventure, fantasy, scientific discoveries, and companionship, engage visitors to learn about fauna and flora of the planet Earth. Our aim is to create an engaging, experimental indoor zoo experience, where adventure, fantasy, and personal and scientific discoveries connect visitors and nature. 

Painted Dog Research Trust

Painted Dog Research Trust

​Summer 2015

​Graphic design for Painted Dog Census and Identification program.

Forest Lands - Design Development

Zoo Bratislava, Slovakia
June 2015 - November 2015


Following a masterplan update Zoo Design Inc was asked to further develop design of a forested area of the zoo into an experience of forest animals, centered around habitat for wolves. Other animals include European bison, lynx, elk and deer, big horn sheep, beavers, badgers, forest cats.  An owl path, a series of mysterious encounters with owls, eagles, and ravens, takes place among historic stone walls found in the zoo. A visitors’ center with restaurant will overlook a large bison habitat. There will be playgrounds and picnic areas with rentable barbeque fire pits, an amphitheater tucked into the hillside, and rentable event space. The “Forest Lands” area will connect with “Grasslands” via a hanging bridge over the “Valley of Birds,” and become the gate to further development: the Eurasian Safari. 

Forest Lands

Saola Captive Conservation and Breeding Centre - Conceptual Design

IUCN/SSC Saola Working Group
​April 2015 - September 2015


Conceptual Design for a large center for endangered forest hoofstock species to be built in the Annamite mountains of Laos.  The objective given by IUCN Saola Working Group was to use enclosures to mitigate most of the threats to saola and to preserve critical wildlife populations. The Centre will have other important functions: It will have a large capacity-building role, for national staff working at the Centre. The Centre will increase our knowledge of saola biology and behavior, which in turn, will improve conservation of the species in the wild.

Boreal Discovery Centre DD

Boreal Discovery Center - Design Development

Thompson Zoo, Manitoba, Canada
May 2015 - October 2016

Following a successful masterplan development, Zoo Design Inc continues developing design for Phase 1 of the project: a walk through boreal forest with wolf, lynx and caribou habitats, back-of-house animal building and visitors’ experience. Phase 1 includes revitalization of entry and service area of the zoo, as well as design for a sturgeon aquarium. 

Boreal Aquarium

Boreal Discovery Center - Sturgeon Aquarium

Thompson Zoo, Manitoba, Canada
May 2015 - October 2016

Along with the Boreal Discovery Centre Master Plan, Zoo Design Inc designed a Sturgeon Aquarium for the Thompson Zoo. This aquarium follows the life history of sturgeon and  a touch tank gives visitors the opportunity to get up-close and personal with young sturgeon.  Keeping these juvenile sturgeon on rotation between on/off exhit time will ensure their well-being. A life-size replica will hang above the visitors and as a stunning educational piece - Sturgeon the fish dinosaur. Visitors follow a journey of a river on the floor that teaches them about each life cycle stage as they see it unfold in five real life aquarium tanks in front of them. 

Zoo Bratislava - Master Plan
Zoo Bratislava, Slovakia
December 2014 - June 2015

Julia and her team prepared a new masterplan, including graphics, executive summary, and a brochure detailing the vision, direction, and best practices recommended for this historic but highly naturalistic zoo to become one of the leading attractions in the region, measuring up to famous and successful zoos such as Zoo Vienna. 

Zoo Bratislava MP

Tierwelt Herberstein - Concept Study

November 2014

In collaboration with Monika Fiby of and the Tierwelt Herberstein, we studied three options for locating the giraffe and African hoofstock exhibit, including a sizable giraffe barn. Each option explored what kind of relationship the exhibit and the barn would have with the rest of the zoo and surrounding landscape and how the giraffes could best use the space.

Tierwelt Herberstein
Northwest Trek Wolverine

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park - Wolverine Habitat improvements - Concept Design
Washington State, US
July-August 2014

Northwest Trek, a wildlife park at the foothills of Mt. Rainier, was conceived by Jones and Jones Architects and Landscape Architect in 1973 as sanctuary for local wildlife and a unique school for man, where a great number of people can pass through the animals’ habitat with very minimal impact.  The park is divided into three areas: free roaming herbivores area, large enclosures for carnivores, and wetland zone.  Zoo Design Inc was invited to provide a vision for enlargement and habitat improvements for wolverine.  

Boreal Discovery Centre Master Plan

Boreal Discovery Centre - Master Plan
Thompson Zoo, Manitoba, Canada
May 2014 - January 2015

Area:                 8 acres
Animal Area:     2.2 acres
Animals:           Canadian Lynx, Woodland Caribou, Bald                                   Eagle, Great Grey Owl, Wolf, and Sturgeon

The City of Thompson, the ‘Wolf Capital of the World’ engaged Zoo Design Inc to revitalize their zoo to become an institution providing connections with local north Canada species and live up to the international eco-tourism attention that the city of Thompson receives; every year, thousands of tourists pass through the city to embark on journey to see polar bears in Hudson Bay. 

In 2014 Thompson Zoological Society and Zoo Design Inc developed a master plan for a new zoo – The Boreal Discovery Centre – featuring animals and plants found in their natural habitat. The driving force behind the new master plan was the desire of citizens of Thompson to have their own zoo and the desire of Thompson Zoological Society to create the best possible conditions for resident animals. From the very beginning of the process, animal welfare, visitors’ experience, and ease of animal management were the priorities.

The focus on native animals and plants will guarantee that selected animals will feel comfortable in the Nordic climate of Thompson. Additionally, the potential for wildlife to interact with resident species will contribute to natural enrichment. The Boreal Discovery Centre will be a one-of-a-kind institution, unique to the area, building on the ideas of framing and enriching natural habitats:  a sanctuary for animals and a school for people. 

The Great Pannonia

The Great Pannonia: Biodome and Aquarium - Feasibility Review
Budapest, Hungary
​February-June 2014 

Zoo Design Inc was contracted to provide a feasibility study for this over 50mil Euro Biodome concept design. This included features such as storyline, visitors experience, animal welfare and animal management consideration, cost and constructability.

Amazon Rainforest Brandywine Zoo

Amazon Rainforest Building
Brandywine Zoo, Delaware, USA
March 2014 -

Area:          9,000sf
Animals:     Capybara, Coati, Dwarf Caiman, Giant Anteater,                             Jaguar, Macaw, Porcupine, Sloth, Saki, Toucan
Budget:       $10 million


Zoo Design Inc, in collaboration with GWWO Architects, are working on a 9000sf indoor rainforest habitat, a major expansion to The Brandywine Zoo. The new three story building will feature three different habitats: riverine, forest ground, and canopy level; several mixed species exhibits and many free flying birds. Event space on the third level overlooking the rainforest canopy, with stunning views of Brandywine Park and Brandywine River, is a promising revenue generating feature. 

American Grasslands Wolf Habitat

American Grasslands Wolf Habitat
Detroit Zoo, Michigan, USA
May 2014 - May 2015


Total Area: 2 acres      

Animal Area: 1.6 acres
Animals: Wolves, 1.2.0
Budget: $1.5 million    

This 2-acre revitalization project provides a dynamic wolf exhibit with an immersive visitor experience. The exhibit activates a currently underutilized portion of the zoo and as a new anchor point for the American Grasslands area. Besides focusing on innovative animal welfare and pleasant visitor experience of the animals and shared landscape, this project conserves resources by allowing adaptive reuse of existing holding facilities and a historic log cabin, and strategically re-purposing excess soil from another project.

Great Apes Building Improvements

Great Apes Building Improvements
Detroit Zoo, Michigan, USA
January 2014

Animals:     Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans

Zoo Design Inc strategized with the Detroit Zoo to develop an advanced habitat enrichment program for the Great Apes Building.  We analyzed the existing floor plan and conditions to come up with the best solution for the space, the animals, and the staff.  With the addition of solar tubes for natural light, meshed garden spaces to soften the exhibits, and substrates and climbing structures to engage the animals, the Great Apes building provides an enticing habitat for residents and visitors alike.

Zoo Jihlava Wolf

Wolf Habitat
Zoo Jihlava, Czech Republic
August 2013 - January 2014

Animal Area: 1.5 acres
Animals: Wolves          

Ms. Kubikova, the director of the Zoo contacted Zoo Design, Inc. to develop nearly 1.5 acres of secondary forest in the area of Zoo Jihlava to become European Wolf habitat, where wolves will be free to express their natural behavior and visitors will be engaged in discovering wolf agency. The design process includes research of leading wolf facilities, zoos and sanctuaries, in US and EU, and development of an environmental enrichment plan for the species. 

Prague Zoo Gorilla

Gorilla Exhibit Improvements
Prague Zoo, Czech Republic
April 2013 - June 2013

This design study focused on exhibit and viewing areas improvements to explore the concept of landscape immersion and of a home place for gorillas in Prague Zoo. The first concept is based on wetland areas around Baji, Gabon, giving gorillas plenty of space and diverse habitats similar to the grassland, forest, and a matrix of wet areas including shallow, flowing, and standing water. Visitors are discovering the gorilla’s habitat from a protected edge of a tropical forest with streams seemingly flowing in and out of the exhibit. The second concept, home place, explores the extension of Gorillas' space by providing more vertical space and visual control of the territory by the Gorillas. Visitors enter a maze of tall double-wall aviaries, overgrown by forest-like vegetation and connected by overhead bridges, and find themselves being watched by gorillas. This is the gorillas' home - gorillas dominate. 

Land of Lemurs

Land of Lemurs
Calgary Zoo, Alberta, Canada
December 2012 - March 2013

The Calgary Zoo, with the ambition of becoming the next leader in conservation, animal welfare and immersive guest experience, engaged Zoo Design Inc to develop a conceptual design for a 1.5 acre native lowland forest to become lemur habitat. The project includes a 2700sf holding building, 720ft of perimeter boardwalk, and 160ft of walk–through Lemur exhibit experience. This exhibit is to be the first fully immersive lemur exhibit in North America. 

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