Merging Nature into the Built Environment
The Zoo's new entry complex is a grand welcoming gesture, greeting visitors and marking their arrival to the newly revitalized Zoo. The transparent façades of the Entry Hall create a portal that defines the passage from the urban environment of the city to the natural environment of the Zoo. At night, the Entry Hall becomes a softly glowing beacon in the dark, creating a presence for the Zoo along the major arterial thoroughfare west of downtown Winnipeg. The building expresses a biophilic design, an architectural expression of nature, with dramatic “tree-like” columns with low building wings rising from a landscape planted with grasses native to the prairies of southern Manitoba.
Stormwater is managed naturally through a series of rain gardens, visually demonstrating the Zoo’s commitment to sustainability. Designed to accommodate up to 10,000 visitors per day, the new South Entry is used for admissions, guest services, retail and staff support spaces. As prime consultant and design lead, we worked in association with Number TEN Architectural Group.