Chester Zoo's £40m development by Dan Pearlman recreates Indonesian island experience

by Tom Anstey | 14 Jul 2015

Chester Zoo has debuted its new £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) Islands development by Dan Pearlman, creating a highly-immersive, themed adventure across a series of Indonesian islands and making the visitor attraction one of the largest and most important zoos anywhere in the world.

Phase one of the Islands development, which accounts for around 50 per cent of the total expansion, sets visitors off on a journey through Indonesia, putting the spotlight on species including the critically endangered Visayan warty pig, banteng, lowland anoa and cassowary.

Dan Pearlman – who have also worked on zoos in Hannover and South Korea – led the project, while engineering company Laing O’Rourke was awarded the build following a nationwide tender process. The main feature of this phase is a 15-minute lazy river boat trip, which takes guests on an alternate journey through the exhibits, offering a cageless river experience.

“When George Mottershead built the zoo back in 1931, he tried to create a zoo without bars and this is what we’re trying to do here,” said Chester Zoo MD, Jamie Christon, speaking to CLAD at the launch. “For example, on our riverside enclosures we’ve created ramshackled jetties, but in fact there’s a fence below there stopping the animals being able to come out.

“A lot of work has also gone into interpretation and theming,” he continued. ”Our in-house team is responsible for that. We’ve been out in Indonesia, we’ve had our team take photos of what people sell at the markets there and tried to create something similar. We’ve even brought objects back from Indonesia including real fishing boats and products to create a totally immersive experience.

“What we’re trying to do is create the illusion of adventure. You’re not sure where you’re going, we don’t give you a detailed map, your ears are filled with sounds pumped in on this expedition and you wonder, where you’re going. It’s something totally different to anything on offer anywhere else.”

A second phase of development at Islands, scheduled to open in around a month’s time, will see the addition of Monsoon Forest – the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK. Included will be raised walkways, underwater viewing and free flight areas in a sub-tropical climate. In addition, phase two will include a bird house featuring the incredibly rare Bali Starling, orangutan and Sunda gharial crocodile habitats, plus a new tiger enclosure which will sit on the edge of the lazy river.

Related stories

Blow for Chester Zoo as 'Our Zoo' axed by the BBC

'Our Zoo' TV show worth £30m in PR to Chester Zoo, says MD

Chester Zoo launches crowd sourcing project for heritage collection

Chester Zoo announces phase two expansion

Work starts on £30m Chester Zoo islands project

Work to begin on £30m Chester Zoo project next month

Chester Zoo has debuted its new £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) Islands development by Dan Pearlman, creating a highly-immersive, themed adventure across a series of Indonesian islands and making the visitor attraction one of the largest and most important zoos anywhere in the world. Phase one of the Islands development, which accounts for around 50 per cent of the total expansion, sets visitors off on a journey through Indonesia, putting the spotlight
CLD,VAT,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
The expansion is themed with authentic items curated from Indonesia / Chester Zoo
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Thun has designed a hotel, spa and medical centre in Bad Wiessee
Matteo Thun leads a design studio of over 70 people, with offices in Milan and Shanghai
"We want a longer life cycle for every product, even if it means business is slower"

Simplicity and sustainability should be at the heart of all design argues the Italian architect

The Aluminati installation was designed to explore Iceland’s economic dependence on aluminium
Martha Schwartz
"No one is taking the issue of climate change seriously. Some bad things will have to happen before there is a change"

The outspoken landscape architect on climate change, bagels and being controversial

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Vincent Parreira, AAVP Architecture
"A unique leisure destination in the Greater Paris of tomorrow"

The key cultural buildings for Paris’s controversial new leisure destination

Perkins+Will are working on a major expansion of Detroit’s Motown Museum
Gabrielle Bullock studied architecture and fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design
"I’m one of 424 black female licensed architects in the US. We represent 0.2 per cent of the profession"

Architects must reflect the world they design for, says Perkins+Will’s director of global diversity

features
Ben van Berkel believes practices will all become ‘arch tech’ firms
"We’re living in the age of the iPhone, yet the architecture and construction industries are still in the Walkman phase"

On the launch of his tech startup

Arva, an Italian restaurant, is one of five on-site dining offers
"This carefully choreographed interplay of room and courtyard extends through all scales of the masterplan"

The desire to save a threatened forest and historic buildings in China led to a truly unique resort, We speak to the people that made it happen

David Collins Studio: The leadership team on legacy and the fun of collaboration
Dublin-born David Collins moved to London in the 1980s and founded David Collins Studio in 1985
"The Studio is such a big part of our lives, that it just continued, albeit through a very challenging period"

David Collins was behind the design of many of London’s hottest destinations Today his legacy lives on via the studio’s glamorous international projects

cladkit product news
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
cladkit product news
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates