The Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group is bringing its noted design acumen a little closer to home for once, as it is designing a new panda enclosure at Copenhagen Zoo.
Designed in collaboration with the landscape architects Schønher, the new enclosure is expected to be finished sometime in 2018 and be situated where the old elephant enclosure is currently located. Seen from above, the new design will resemble a yin-yang symbol.
The new design was reached in co-operation with zookeepers, zoologists and landscape gardeners in order to reach the best level of functionality. A cafe where guests can sit and watch the animals while having a bite to eat is also part of the design.
“You will be able to sit with the elephants on one side and the pandas on the other,” Bjarke Ingels told Berlingske newspaper.
“And we have lowered the floor so children and adults will be at eye level with the animals.”
First since Chi Chi
Copenhagen Zoo is now busy contacting potential investors who would like to be part of the project, which is expected to cost 125-150 million kroner.
The zoo is expected to get its first panda bears in about two years as part of a gift from the Chinese government. The zoo briefly had a panda back in 1958 when the panda Chi Chi spent three weeks at Copenhagen Zoo as part of a European tour.
Currently, there are very few zoos in Europe that have panda bears.