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Rostock Zoo

Walking in the footsteps of Arctic and Antarctic animals: The new themed world POLARIUM enriches Rostock Zoo, by allowing it’s visitors to plunge into the unique and fascinating world of the polar regions. Within the themed world, dan pearlman designed the POLARIUM exhibition that builds on an overall design concept and uses various didactical elements to put the protection of both, species and their habitats first. To display the home of polar bears and penguins, scenography and knowledge transfer are laid out to perfectly go hand in hand with one another. A clear language of color and line binds with the building’s architecture in a way that creates a significantly Arctic atmosphere in the new visitor center. By doing so, didactics are wrapped in a room-concept that is equipped with the most suitable circumstances to ensure a playful process of learning. Considering those factors, POLARIUM Rostock represents a leisure destination with high entertainment value for the whole family. The POLARIUM exhibition was designed, structured and realized by the team of Karen Klessinger, Creative Director dan pearlman brand architecture.


Exhibition Design
Attraction Design
Communication & Didactics
Communication Design


The new exhibition of the POLARIUM at Rostock Zoo takes visitors on a one-of-a-kind adventure through the world of penguins, polar bears and aquatic creatures of the northern and southern polar regions. To enable visitors to experience those unique living spaces, the atmosphere of the fascinating Arctic and Antarctic landscapes was captured and transferred to a holistic exhibition concept, including room-, media- and sound planning. Both architecture of the visitor center and exhibition design reflect the sharp edges and polygon shapes of the polar regions in an authentic way. Right at the entrance of the new themed world, visitors are welcomed to the realm of the penguins by a stylized iceberg that gives a first glimpse of what they are about to discover on their way to the visitor center. The iceberg offers information about the lively animals on different communication levels, appealingly conveyed for all ages. Specifically for children, a didactical level stretching through the whole exhibition was created on a lower height. The transfer of knowledge and education about the habitat of the partially endangered animals of the poles are covering a central priority in the exhibition design. While visitors dive deeper in the Arctic atmosphere, the history and facts about the animals are conveyed playfully. By being guided along the way from the penguin realm to the polar bear exhibition in the visitor center, one will pass the “North and South Pole Exhibit” that allows a geographical exploration of both habitats. Following the path further on, visitors arrive at the new center of the themed world and immerse in the dark blue and icy green realm of the polar bear exhibition. Again, didactical elements are seamlessly integrated in the spatial design. Five stylized icebergs transfer knowledge about questions like: How tall is a polar bear and how many teeth does it have? How far can they swim and how do they know where to go with snow-covered landscapes as far as the eye can reach? Kids can be extra excited: A cave installation offers the perfect surrounding to listen to polar bear tales and stories as well as to discover the bear cubs. Towards the end of the room, the exhibition’s highlight is awaiting the visitors: A vast glass front presents an exceptional encounter with the impressive king of the Arctic and enables visitors to observe the animals from an underwater perspective. The spirit of the different seasons of the poles and the special light conditions of polar day and night are emphasized in the exhibition and create a suspenseful atmosphere. Additionally, sound installations and a wide panorama projection underline the feeling of being a part of the Artic landscape. The insight into the animals’ underwater habitat creates the perfect transition to the marine world – the last station of the exhibition. In comparison to the sharp and edgy shaped kingdom of the polar bears, this area is characterized by round and smooth room contours. In an underwater scenery designed in dark colors, visitors are wandering around freestanding aquariums, listen to atmospheric sounds and diving into the depths of the seas. The exhibition at POLARIUM Rostock was realized in cooperation with the general planners of ZooQuariumDesign and specialist planners of p2 as well as weißpunkt and purpur.

More information about the exciting opening can be found on Facebook.