Rethinking Zoos

Winners of the contest “Coexist: Rethinking Zoos”




Rethinking Zoos
Image © Worawut Oer-Areemitr, Chanakarn Assavasirisilp, Thakan Navapakpilai and Bemjama Prasertpan

Archstorming has just presented the winning projects of the contest “Coexist: Rethinking Zoos” that challenged participants to redefine the concept of traditional Zoo, just focused on the exhibition of animals. The contest sought to redesign these infrastructures with the social sensitivity of the 21st century, more focused on the education of visitors, scientific research and the conservation of biodiversity.

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Worawut Oer-Areemitr, Chanakarn Assavasirisilp, Thakan Navapakpilai and Bemjama Prasertpan

The proposed location for the project was the Zoo of the city of Barcelona, ​​which recently announced its intention to reinvent itself to adapt to the new mentality of its visitors, more committed to the welfare of animals. An international jury took on the difficult task of choosing the winning projects among the proposals of contestants from more than 40 nationalities.

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Worawut Oer-Areemitr, Chanakarn Assavasirisilp, Thakan Navapakpilai and Bemjama Prasertpan

This jury includes architects who have contributed in recent years to redefine the concept of Zoo, such as Jan Nowell of Arterial Design (Australia); Robert Watson of Watson Architecture + Design (Australia); Bas Ten Brinke of 70F (The Netherlands); Adrian Iredale, Finn Pedersen and Martyn Hook of Iredale, Pedersen and Hook (Australia); and Mario Carreño and Pietra Sartori from Carreño Sartori Arquitectos (Chile).

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Elias Vogel e Estelle Filliat

The finalist teams have proposed interactive and imaginative alternatives such as elevated and non-intrusive paths, autochthonous species adapted to the climate and even 3D virtual animals; these proposals improve the well-being of animals and have enhanced more educational and scientific aspects including spaces for art, history and reflection.

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Elias Vogel e Estelle Filliat

The result of this contest shows that there are new very attractive ways for visitors to know and understand the animal world and nature in general, in a much more ecological, friendly and sustainable manner.

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Elias Vogel e Estelle Filliat

The first prize has corresponded to the project of the Thai team formed by Worawut Oer-Areemitr, Chanakarn Assavasirisilp, Thakan Navapakpilai and Bemjama Prasertpan, where they stated that “Instead of fencing a new territory for wildlife as a typical zoological park, we believe zoo should be part of the urban organ rather than being isolated.

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Pinar Kesim Aktaş, Mehmet Cemil Aktaş, Ekin Şeker, Nergis Aşa

By understanding the existing context and animal’s consideration, we propose the new threshold between human and animal, allows people to publicly experience so called ‘Habitat Parc’ where they can rightfully use and observe Non-Sapien’s friends in their natural environment.

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Pinar Kesim Aktaş, Mehmet Cemil Aktaş, Ekin Şeker, Nergis Aşa

This elimination of ‘urban cage’ between the Human and Animal Citizen will lead to the enhancement of the animal welfare and also raise animal preservation awareness.” The second project chosen by the jury is entitled “This is not a zoo” and has been submitted by Elias Vogel and Estelle Filliat, from Paris (France).

Rethinking Zoos
Image © Pinar Kesim Aktaş, Mehmet Cemil Aktaş, Ekin Şeker, Nergis Aşa

It proposes a light footbridge overhanging the park and sheltering the different programs: veterinary school, laboratories, exhibition, conference, biogas silo… The third prize was designed by Pinar Kesim Aktaş, Mehmet Cemil Aktaş, Ekin Şeker, Nergis Aşa a team from Istanbul, Turkey. Source and images Courtesy of Archstorming.

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