BIG’s Zooptopia project will feature natural habitats for animals


Danish studio BIG has unveiled its design for the Givskud Zoo in Denmark, creating a free environment for the animals.

The project is called Zootopia, representing the idea of a 60s zoo and Safari park through a landscape of forests and rivers, all centred on a courtyard of facilitates created for visitors.

“It is our dream to create the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors,” said the architects.


The park itself is set to be divided into three sections, dedicated to three continents: Asia, Africa and America. Within each of these zones, habitats will be designed to appear as natural features.

“We would like to build homes for the animals that are both tailor-made especially for them and at the same time have the qualities from their original surroundings,” BIG said.

These surrounding will vary from bamboo boxes for pandas, piles of lumber for bears as well as an elephant house comprising of a small hill of rice fields.

The studio also proposed “savannah craters” for animals such as giraffes and zebras, as well as a “lion hill” and a “penguin rock enclosure”.

“We hope that we could enhance the quality of life for the animals as well as the keepers and guests, but also discover ideas and opportunities that we will be able to transfer back into the urban jungle,” said the studio.

The sunken courtyard will featuree ticket desks, restaurants, a shop and toilets, as well as framing the entrances to each zone.

A four-kilometre trail will also circle the entire site, offering a hiking or cycling route for visitors.

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