'Cage free' zoo proposal for Sydney granted planning permission

Plans to develop a second zoo in Sydney, Australia, have been given the go-ahead after local government officials granted planning permission to the AU$36m (US$28.8m, €24m, £21.3m) “cage free” project in Bungarribee.

First touted in September 2015, the proposal for the Western Sydney Parklands – masterplanned by Australian design firm Misho + Associates (M+A) in conjunction with landscape architecture from Aspect Studios – will create natural-looking spaces developed to showcase animals from around the world over 165,000sq m (1.8 million sq ft).

“Designed with the desire to connect it with the broader landscape of the surrounding park, the new zoo will appear to be free of fences with enclosure devices concealed in the landscape elements,” said Aspect in its design statement. “This strategy allows people to be in close proximity with the animals, while at the same time employing best practices in animal welfare.”

According to M+A, who are handling building design for the project, the primary concept is for the structures to mimic the landscape and blend into their surroundings.

“The form of the buildings will maximise the opportunity offered from the site without impacting on surrounding landscape, and the amenity of the area,” said a statement from M+A.

“The buildings become identifiable from afar, yet sit comfortably within the landscape. The facades create a visually rich screen of constantly changing patterns of light and movement, expressing its internal functions whether an entry pavilion, retail, workspace, breakout or lobby area, adding an ever changing layer of visual delight to the landscape.”

Sustainability is also at the heart of the development, with main materials for buildings including prefabricated concrete, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and recycled timber – all chosen on the basis of sustainability.

The zoo will feature 30 exhibits, including African safari animals and an Aboriginal and natural heritage programme focusing on Western Sydney’s Darug people. The zoo is expected to draw around 745,000 visitors each year. According to Australia’s environment minister Mark Speakman, the zoo will boost Sydney’s economy by AU$45m (US$36.2m, €30.2m, £26.8m) annually with 120 full-time jobs created when it opens in 2018.

Misho + Associates  Western Sydney Parklands  Zoo  Aquarium  Sydney  visitor attractions  Bungarribee  Aspect Studios  Australia  
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Plans to develop a second zoo in Sydney, Australia, have been given the go-ahead after local government officials granted planning permission to the AU$36m (US$28.8m, €24m, £21.3m) “cage free” project in Bungarribee. First touted in September 2015, the proposal for the Western Sydney Parklands – masterplanned by Australian design firm Misho + Associates (M+A) in conjunction with landscape architecture from Aspect Studios – will create natural-looking spaces developed to showcase
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The zoo will feature 30 exhibits, including African safari animals
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