One of the oldest cage-free zoos in the world, The Paris Zoological Park has long been a proponent of animal conservation since its opening in 1934. Of over 85 species housed at the zoo, most are considered endangered with habitats that are near-destruction and are thus directly benefitting from the zoo’s efforts. Situated in the historical Parc de Vincennes, the relatively small zoo (about 15 ha) is marked by nearly one century of evolution on the safeguarding and the presentation of the animals of the world in an urban environment.
Constructed mostly from concrete rock which after 70 years has become unsafe for habitation, the Paris Zoo’s reconstruction builds around its important conservationist inheritance in order to preserve its identity while creating a new mode of animal presentation and educational experience. The design team, including Atelier Jacqueline Osty for landscape design and master planning, Bernard Tschumi urbanistes Architectes with Véronique Descharrières for the new architectural project and the group Synthese, with Bernard Hemery for renovation and technical buildings, used techniques of immersion, visibility and camouflage to simultaneously address the comfort of the animals in their habitats and to create a strong sensual and emotional visitor experience. For the architects, the design concern goes beyond the decoration and mimicry of nature and moves into the specific realm and requirement of each animal. The priority is not to create architecture in the traditional sense of the term for the zoo, but to instead create specific mediums so as to hide, complement or blend the buildings into a natural setting, allowing for a new sense of immersion never before seen in zoo design. more
Bernard Tschumi urbanistes Architectes with Véronique Descharrières designed and built the following buildings: entrance aviary and entrance buildings, small aviaries, the large aviary, the large greenhouse and all the wood filters covering most construction, and built in particular the House for Giraffes and the Central Hub (restaurant and rhinos). back
Chrysalis / Museum of Natural History
Design Team: Jacqueline Osty Associés (landscape and master plan); Bernard Tschumi urbanistes Architects with Véronique Descharrières; Synthèse Architecture with Bernard Hemery
Paris: Bernard Tschumi, Véronique Descharrières, Vincent Prunier, Rémy Cointet, Grégoire Giot, Alice Dufourmantelle, Anaïs Le Brun, Yann Le Drogo, Joachim Bakary, Martial Marquet, Laurent Esmilaire, Will Fox, Pascal Lavaud, Catherine Kim, Sarah Gould
New York: Bernard Tschumi, Julien Jacquot, Micheal Young, Laurence Sarrazin, Gary He, Rychiee Espinosa, Melissa Goldman, Taylor Burgess, Nefeli Chatzimina, Francoise Akinosho, Mathieu Crabouillet, Paul-Arthur Heller, Bart-Jan Polman, Kate Scott back