Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB

Miller Hull Partnership designs San Diego Zoo's new US$68m Africa Rocks expansion

San Diego Zoo is about to embark on what will be the California attraction’s largest expansion to date, the US$68m (€62m, £43.5m) Africa Rocks exhibit.

Designed by the San Diego-based Miller Hull Partnership, the 8-acre (32,400sq m) exhibit will transform what is currently a canyon area once home to 1930s-era grottos and enclosures, into an easily traversable path leading visitors through an African-themed environment.

To be populated with a wide variety of animals – including dwarf crocodiles, spurred tortoises, baboons, vervet monkeys and lemurs, African leopards and penguins among others – plant life will also play a big part in the new exhibit, with native African plants including acacia, aloe, Madagascar ocotillo and palms being planted to immerse visitors in the experience. One of the exhibition's key focal points will be the Rady Madagascar Habitat and Falls – an immersive environment centred around a 65ft (19.8m) waterfall cascading down several levels of the expansion.

Groundbreaking for the project, which is set to open in 2017, occurred on 29 July on the back of a multi-year fundraising phase, which has so far collected US$61.5m (€56m, £39.3m) from 4,500 people. Notable donors included philanthropist Conrad Prebys, who gave US$11m (€10m, £7m), investment mogul Ernest Rady, who contributed US$10m (€9.1m, £6.4m), and Dan and Vi McKinney, who have donated US$5m (€4.6m, £3.2m) specifically for the creation of a new habitat and breeding centre dedicated to preserving endangered African penguins.

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FEATURE: Interview – Rick Schwartz

San Diego Zoo is about to embark on what will be the California attraction’s largest expansion to date, the US$68m (€62m, £43.5m) Africa Rocks exhibit. Designed by the San Diego-based Miller Hull Partnership, the 8-acre (32,400sq m) exhibit will transform what is currently a canyon area once home to 1930s-era grottos and enclosures, into an easily traversable path leading visitors through an African-themed environment. To be populated with a wide
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One of the exhibition's key focal points will be the Rady Madagascar Habitat and Falls
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Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB