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BIG to design freedom-focused safari experience for Givskud Zoo, Denmark

by Katie Buckley | 01 Aug 2014

Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) has been commissioned to design a new form of enclosure at Givskud Zoo, Denmark – Zootopia.

Zootopia is based on the concept of man and nature becoming one; it is a hybrid of a traditional zoo and a safari, which will be split into four different sections, three of which will be themed around the continents of Africa, Asia and the Americas, with a central plaza in the middle.

BIG stated: “It is our dream – with Givskud – to create the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors”

This ethos has led to a design where the visitor and nature can become entwined. Across BIG’s three continent concept, each will have a different mode of transport, allowing the visitor to ‘fly’ over the Americas (in a cable car), cycle or hike through Africa and sail across Asia.

A diagram explaining the integrated continents

The traditional caged aspects of the zoo will be hidden in a natural manner within the new landscape – resulting in a 'barely there' vernacular – allowing tailor-built homes for the animals to blend seamlessly with the overall design.

Linking all three ‘continents’ together, the Central Plaza will be circular, enticing guests to take a glimpse at the surrounding attractions. BIG is aiming to make this space an extension of the city, allowing freedom of movement and integration from a proposed square outside. The entrance will wrap around itself to create a natural entrance gate.

In total, the site will cover 1,200,000sq m (3,937,007sq ft) and the project is currently in progress.

Rendering of the overall site, showing the central plaza

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Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) has been commissioned to design a new form of enclosure at Givskud Zoo, Denmark – Zootopia. Zootopia is based on the concept of man and nature becoming one; it is a hybrid of a traditional zoo and a safari, which will be split into four different sections, three of which will be themed around the continents of Africa, Asia and the Americas, with a central plaza
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Being at one with nature is a major part of the design, moving away from the traditional caged zoo experience. / BIG
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