When it was announced in autumn 2015 that Chancellor Angela Merkel was negotiating during her China visit a pair of pandas for Berlin’s Zoological Garden there was much excitement. It quickly became clear, however, that the arrival of the animals required the construction of a new Panda Exhibit. Since then, the planning activities have been in full swing.
In a joined press conference we unveiled the secret today and introduced our design to the public. The press welcomed our plan, zoo director Dr. Andreas Knieriem and also our project manager Anna Buttkus were asked many questions.
The 5480 m2 sized Panda enclosure is situated near the Elephant Gate entrance to the zoo. Especially spacious are the outdoor enclosures, which are modelled after the Sichuan province, the home to the giant pandas, and are shaped by bamboo, rock formations and small streams.
The architectural centrepiece is the understated, functional building that combines modern European modernism and Far East traditions and houses a protected visitor plaza as well as the den and caretaker areas.
Organic shapes on the ground and ceilings, as well as islands of bamboo clusters, not only give the visitor plaza an airy and purist feel, but also form a thematic link between interior and exterior. An exhibition, which is dedicated to all aspects of panda life, will enrich the visit.
The tight timetable provides a particular challenge. The architects have only fourteen months to design and build the Panda exhibit since it is supposed to be ready to go by summer 2017.
More information about the design and the strategic direction of the Panda Garden provides our press release. Please click here.