A new 15,000 square foot facility, located on an undeveloped site of the zoo grounds adjacent to the proposed savannah exhibit, was designed to provide healthcare and research for the zoo’s population.
The primary design response was to “underwhelm” and fit within existing site constraints. The building wraps around the base of an existing wooded hillside rising forty feet to the south. The majority of the building was sited on an existing cleared utility easement, thus minimizing the tree removal. By its siting, the building becomes a sedate and natural setting for the animal patients.
The materials palette took on an environmental quality establishing a base for the facilities within the master planned area. This palette includes native sandstone and flat seamed zinc coated sheet metal. A preservationist approach was applied to the landscape which simply enhances and reinforces an open field savannah while preserving a significant forested area. Supplemental plantings establish the understory layer.