The award-winning Danish architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), responsible for projects such as Superkilen in Nørrebro, has released information about their daring new design for a zoo in Givskud called Zootopia.
The project seeks to eliminate the stress animals may encounter by creating “the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives” which will create a better relationship between them and the zoo’s visitors.
BIG will attempt to “integrate and hide buildings” in the surrounding landscape so that the animals feel like they are in a more natural habitat.
Visitors who arrive at the zoo can either view and enter the different habitats from the main square or climb the surrounding infrastructure to view the entire park.
The park which is hoped to be about 300 acres, divided into three continents (Africa, America and Asia), would be accessed by visitors through ramps, bridges and tunnels and in some areas visitors would be able to hide inside hollowed-out log piles or shelters hidden in hills.
There would also be cabins in the different continents that visitors can book if they wish to view the zoo at night.
BIG has not decided how the visitors would move around most of the zoo though. They have suggested ideas such as bikes fitted with spherical mirrors so that they become less conspicuous and spherically mirrored cable cars. Visitors with cars will also be able to drive around the park on a safari.
In some areas guests on bikes would be able to get out of their capsules in ‘safe zones’ to meet the animals up close, have a picnic or go for a swim.
The architects have told the press this week that even though the pilot project has been made possible by a generous donation from the Ole Kirk’s Fund, it is still quite far from reality and needs to be tweaked.
The first part of Zootopia is hoped to be completed in 2019 to coincide with Givskud zoo’s fiftieth anniversary.