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 6619     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6619     
 
 
 
latest jobs
£24000-27000
Job location: North East, UK
company profile
Company profile: Fabio Alemanno Design Ltd
Based on ancient knowledge – and confirmed by scientific research – warmth is one of the most important sources of healing and preventative therapy available.
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
Mia Kyricos is senior vice president and global head of wellbeing for Hyatt Hotels Corporation
"We’re now smart enough to know that it’s the environments we choose to surround ourselves with that impact our health and wellness"

Home wellness is the future, says Hyatt’s global head of wellbeing

Adria Lake was diagnosed with early-onset MS and turned to the philosophy of resilience to heal
"We’re not built for constant comfort. When we live in spaces that connect us to our surroundings, we feel better, stronger and happier – and that is the very definition of being well"

Early-onset MS inspired Adria Lake to explore resilience as both a healing modality and an approach to design in the creation of her new home and company headquarters in Colorado

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Salvaged pieces, including Afgan doors, stained glass windows and vintage furniture, were collected by McLennan and his wife for years before they started work on the project
"If you look closely at the walls, they almost look like layers of the Grand Canyon. When you use rammed earth, you get wavy lines where the material has been compacted"

Well building guru Jason McLennan opens his home and shares his thoughts about environmental design with Well Home

Architecture and mindfulness: Ben Channon
Ben Channon
"I hope architects gain a genuine understanding of how buildings and spaces affect our mental wellbeing and how their design can be tailored towards making people happier and healthier"

Ben Channon has written Happy by Design, a new book about how architecture affects our mental health. He explains how we can all be happier at home

features
"We love being surrounded by people who teach us and make us better. Serenbe has also really enhanced our thinking about the value of nature and being outside on a daily basis"

Eliza Bacot and her husband Benton talk about living at Serenbe with their family

A central island acts as a food preparation area for multiple people
"I’ve used my own life as a living lab to study the hurdles from a busy career mom’s perspective"

Veronica Schreibeis Smith couldn’t find a kitchen which worked for her plant-based diet, so she invented the wellness kitchen

The house was built on the site of an old garage in a residential area of west London
"I firmly believe that homes are for children as much as they are for adults"

Alex Michaelis and his partner have seven children. He designed their home to be full of fun

cladkit product news
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
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 ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
cladkit product news
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
cladkit product news
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
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 ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates