Cobalt blue-feathered hyacinth and indigo macaws flutter and snatch noisily at mineral-rich feed. In the future, the rare, endangered parrot species and its spectacular movements can be observed in an unparalleled way at Wuppertal Zoo. With the ARALANDIA, one of Europe’s biggest aviaries is arising. The extrodinary fact: the aviary is open for visitors what offers a one-of-a-kind experience with the animals. But it’s not only macaws that visitors can meet on eye-level. Based on the mixed-species approach of the concept, people can also experience conures and pudus at close quarters. The architecture team around Kieran Stanley, CEO dan pearlman experience architecture, was responsible for developing a design plan and supervises the implementation until the final opening.
The new free-flight aviary will prepare visitors already at the entrance for their experience tour through the zoo. As part of the future concept ‘Green Zoo 2020’, the macaw aviary aims at making knowledge transfer experienceable and creating transparency through storytelling. In this way, public awareness and interested in species conservation are meant to be fostered. Furthermore, the zoo’s engagement in nature conservation is highlighted. The popular macaws are considered a flagship species for nature conservation in Brazil and promote the zoo’s close cooperation with the Loro Parque Foundation and joined projects. To get a deep dive into the habitat of the animals, visitors are provided with information at ARALANDIA before entering the aviary. The footpath lets visitors travel through the consisting but redesigned, nature-coloured kiosk, creating a seamless transition to the inner area of the aviary. Following, visitors enter an exciting theme and nature path through a floodgate leading into a half-dry savanna scenery. Alongside a meandering stream and a russet rock face of clay, countless macaws present a vibrant colour range from shades of blue, red, yellow and green. This visual and acoustical accent forms a unique photo scene. The visitor’s path pursues above a little cascade, followed by a cave with fascinating insights into the themed stable building. The subsequent, elevated wooden deck offers further impressive perspectives and invites to linger inside the cave. On the way down, visitor’s will pass an idyllic pond with water turtles before entering the Ara Discovery Gallery. Here, everyone gets the opportunity to dive deeper into topics of species conservation and the zoo’s projects. A separated marriage-aviary for threatened macaws is intended for the Ara-Breeding-Center. Here, visitors can witness matching spouses of the monogamous animal species. The architectural concept of the enclosure offers emotional and authentic insight into the animals‘ lives. Therefore, an aviary with farsighted views is envisaged. The aviary was consciously and cautiously designed according to the space requirements of the interior area. Organically curved and spanning metal arcs oft he enclosure remind of flapping bird wings. The arcs are up to 30 metres long and embed harmoniously into the overall picture with their modern touch of allegory. A black meshwork on top of those arcs offers plenty of transparency. With this architectural concept, the landscape naturally flows through the overall structure of the destination what guarantees a pristine experience with the animals inside the enclosure.