Andean Bear Habitat |Beardsley Zoo
Retirement Villas for Chimpanzees | Project Chimps
Terwilliger Discovery Center | WildCare Bay Area
Courtyard Exhibit Habitats and Site Interpretive Planning | WildCare Bay Area
Prairie Dog and Tree Porcupine | Berlin Zoo and Tierpark Berlin
Tropicarium - Большая охота | Moscow Zoo
Giraffe Concept Study | Tierwelt Herberstein Zoo
Wolverine Habitat Improvements Study | Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Tropical House Renovation Amazonia | Helsinki Zoo
Aquarium at The Discovery Centre | Boreal Discovery Centre
The Great Pannonia Biodome & Aquarium Peer Review | Zoo Budapest
Wolf Habitat | Zoo Jihlava
The Land of Lemurs Concept | The Calgary Zoo
Conservation Master Plan
Caribou Breeding & Conservation Centre
British Columbia, Canada
The facility is designed to breed Southern Woodland Caribou with the objective of reintroducing a group of yearlings each year. As the first ever project for this caribou subspecies, ZDI and the team put as much attention into the design of the management strategies as the facility layout, resulting in different configurations of paddock types and animal movement sequences through the site over time. Most importantly, the facility needed to prepare the yearlings for reintroduction by providing conditions with diverse environments, social dynamics, and minimal human contact similar to what they will encounter in the wild. To support the breeding activities, ZDI developed detailed plans for the handling system, quarantine facility, veterinary hospital, necropsy, and administration facilities.
Mountain Lion Exhibit and Graphic Design
Orange County Zoo
Orange, California, USA
The Orange County Zoo Mountain Lion Exhibit is a design-build project for native California felines. Each habitat focuses on a different regional hike, with iconic landforms, water features, and plant communities. Within the habitats, a system of animal enrichment features such as ziplines, training walls, automatic feeders, and enrichment cavities provide a stimulating environment. Topographic and natural features enable patrolling, observation, and exploratory wild behaviors. Interpretive graphic panels provide a deeper dive and connect visitors to mountain lions as well as the flora and fauna critical to the survival of the ecosystem. Additional signage explores the relationship of mountain lions to other species within the North American family of wild cats.
Amazon Rainforest Building
In collaboration with GWWO Architects, Zoo Design Inc. developed a schematic design study for a new 9,000 square feet indoor rainforest habitat for the Brandywine Zoo. The new three story building features three different habitats: riverine, forest ground, and canopy level.
Each level is interwoven with several mixed species exhibits and flocks of free-flying birds. Event space and an observation bridge on the third level provide views overlooking the rainforest canopy, Brandywine Park, and Brandywine River, thus becoming a unique and unforgettable revenue generating venue.
Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness
Detroit, Michigan, USA
This 2-acre habitat features grassy knolls and meadows with native trees, a flowing stream and pond, dens and elevated rock outcroppings from which the wolves can survey their surroundings. There are several vantage points around the habitat to provide visitors with varied views of the wolves in their natural surroundings.
The historic Log Cabin features a fireplace with a comfortable gathering area, and a new observation area with expansive glass viewing windows allow visitors to get nose to snout with the wolves. Our team created an animal-focused design and pleasant visitor experience set within a shared landscape. The habitat highlights our philosophy of sustainability and conservation, demonstrated by the adaptive reuse of an existing holding facility, a historical log cabin, and strategically repurposing soil from a concurrent project.
The Valley of the Tiger
This new exhibit focuses on amur tiger and leopard ecosystems and abilities. The lush birch forest allows tigers to engage in natural hunting and patrol behaviors while providing a layered backdrop that works well in the Northern temperate climate of Estonia, where Tallinn Zoo is located.
State of the art operant conditioning enriches the animals’ lives and thrills guests with displays of their intelligence, size, and strength. The visitor experience is carefully crafted to created varied experiences that work in any weather.
Restaurant and relaxation visitor areas increase stay time and makes this a destination that can be repeated over and over for a fun, fresh experience each time families visit.
Wolves in the Woods
The exhibit is situated on a steep slope with naturally constrained viewing opportunities that Zoo Design Inc. utilized to increase animal welfare and improve the immersive effect for visitors. Visitors move through a densely forested path that opens onto two shelters with uniquely crafted views at each shelter. Limiting visitor views to these two locations builds a sense of anticipation and discovery, surrounded by trees and ferns of the wolves’s natural habitat.
The slope not only was used to create an immersive experience but also was leveraged for animal welfare. Hills within the exhibit give wolves visual access to the broader valley beyond the exhibit which empowers wolf autonomy in choosing how they engage with visitors and inhabit their territory.
The Cloud Forest represents a unique and fragile environment of the high elevation forest habitats of South-East Asia. Zoo guests begin their journey through an underground tunnel experiencing with tactile, low light, and auditory impressions of the rainforest before they enter into a lush green jungle. Guests experience sensory richness and opportunities for water and whole-body play. A touch waterfall invites water play and a nearby cave is home to flying foxes. After visiting the rainforest hall, the guests play and relax in an interpretive gallery featuring an augmented reality theater, conservation and science games, virtual reality intepretives, and hugging orangutans in an informal decompression classroom. The grand finale of the experience is a restaurant with grand views into the rainforest landscape and amur tigers habitat.
African Savanna Lion Exhibit
This new and immersive lion habitat is the anchor to the zoo’s African savanna therefore many different viewing and engagement opportunities were distributed around the habitat perimeter. The encounters range from quiet viewing at a log structure covered in verdant vines to more formal experiences in an African hut classroom. Elsewhere visitors can observe positive reinforcement training at the demonstration wall and even see the lions in colder weather with views into the dayroom. In the exhibit, the landform was mounded to conceal barriers and eliminate visitor cross viewing while also enhancing animal welfare by meeting their needs for elevated positions.
Saola Captive Conservation and Breeding Centre
IUCN / SSC Saola Working Group
Working with IUCN Saola Working Group, Zoo Design Inc developed plans for a conservation center for endangered forest hoofstock and other species in the Annamite mountains of Vietnam, with an emphasis on reproducing the elusive saola. The facility uses enclosed natural habitats to mitigate most threats to saola and to preserve critical wildlife populations.
Additionally, the Centre will serve as a large capacity-building facility for protection of the forest, to be used by both international and local people working at the Centre, and will increase our knowledge of saola biology and behavior, which in turn, will improve conservation of the species in the wild. The Centre utilizes retrofitted existing buildings on site, for example an existing covered badminton court is converted into holding, quarantine, and veterinary facilities.
Painted Dog Census and Identification Pamphlet
Painted Dog Research Trust
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
In collaboration with the Painted Dog Research Trust, Zoo Design Inc.
designed the graphics for a Painted Dog census and identification program. This pamphlet includes a sighting sheet, project goals and information, fun facts, and beautiful photography by Becci Crowe.
This project allowed us to extend our work with animal well-being and conservation beyond an exhibit or institution location and demonstrates our commitment to improving the lives of animals around the world. The graphic design approach also translates well to identification and information panels within exhibits and on site at conservation centers.
Forest Lands: Wolf
Awarded 1st place for the best exhibit of 2018 by the Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens, The wolf exhibit was built into the existing woodland, leaving native habitat undisturbed and providing wolves with the opportunity to engage in their natural behaviors like digging under logs, patrolling perimeters, and burying food remains.
The exhibit includes a state of the art holding facility with indoor and outdoor bedrooms as well as a smaller introductory outdoor habitat connected to two larger habitats that are linked by a hidden transfer corridor. The wolves spend most of their time in their two large habitats, visible to the public from two elevated viewing structures as well as view points along the perimeter fence. Guests can also observe a replica skull and claws in the main structure.
2018 Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens Best Exhibit
Centre Master Plan
Boreal Discovery Center
Thompson, Manitoba, Canada
In an effort to revitalize the Thompson Zoo to meet and exceed CAZA Standards, Zoo Design Inc collaborated with the project team to develop a Master Plan for the new Boreal Discovery Center. This plan showcases the new Centre’s vision for dynamic naturalistic habitats by engaging both resident and local wildlife species, as well as visitors. The design works with local ecosystems to create a seamless connection inside and outside the exhibits to create a truly immersive experience.
Following a successful masterplan development, Zoo Design Inc continued to develop the design for Phase 1 of the project which included a walk through boreal forest with wolf, lynx and caribou habitats, back-of-house animal buildings and visitors’ experience. In addition to new exhibits the Phase 1 also addressed revitalization of the entry and service area of the zoo, as well as design for a sturgeon aquarium.
Zoo Master Plan Update
In the master plan three animal biomes form the organizing principle following the existing ecosystems on the site. The “Forest Lands” biome of European species takes advantage of the wooded central ridge line. To the west, open meadows will become the new “Grasslands” biome as a Eurasian safari connected by a new iconic hanging bridge. Under the bridge is the existing “Valley of Birds,” which features birds from around the world and even the most fearsome family of birds, dinosaurs. With each biome, new visitor amenities were added to increase stay time and income streams such as a visitor center and restaurant overlooking the bison habitat, playgrounds and picnic areas with rentable barbecue fire pits, an amphitheater, and rentable event space.