St.Petersburg Zoo: TN PLUS and Beckmann N’Thépé

St.Petersburg Zoo

Recently more details for the St.Peterburg Zoo were released by the TN PLUS landscape architects and Beckmann N’Thépé architects who won the design competition last Decemeber. The competition was organized by the city of Saint Petersburg.  The site is in the northern suburbs of the city not far from the Bay of Finland, in the frontier between a new residential district in plain development with high rise buildings and a natural reserve. The 300 hectares of the site is actually covered by a pioneer, wetland forest and the zone is frequently flooded [as it is quite usual in that area]. The project restrains on about one third of the site to leave the rest untouched respecting a natural puffer zone for the reserve and to propose a large nature park to the locals.

St.Petersburg Zoo

The main idea consists to reunite ‘Pangaea’, the supercontinent which existed over millions of years ago. Taking advantage of the presence of water we created islands representing various zones of the Earth: South –East Asia / Africa / Australia / South America / North America / Eurasia. The landscapes of theses today faraway lands will be situated one next to the other in the future zoo, just as at the time of Pangaea, the once unique supercontinent of the prehistorically times. The spatial concept of archipelago allows explaining the history of evolution and biodiversity which are both closely connected to the geological history of the movement of the tectonic plates. The animal collection will be enriched by paleo-zoological species [animals that have been living on the surface of Earth for millions of years without significant changes].The animals will be shown in particularly large exhibits. The biggest islands will be that of North America and Eurasia. On one hand the northern species are the one which are the easiest to keep outside under the climate of St Petersburg, but also these are the continents which can use the existing forest as a natural background.

St.Petersburg Zoo

Animals will be shown in big scale outdoor exhibits which will give the impression that the visitor is actually in Australia our South East Asia. The landscape design and the adapted botanical palette of each continent, including mimetic species for the outdoors, will reflect the landscapes of the original sites. Several species will share the same enclosure and some of them will be even able to pass from one exhibit to the other. The development of a well composed winter circuit is particularly important regarding the cold climate of the region. Therefore during the winter months the main visitor circuit will be composed of two types of exhibits:  on one hand several large greenhouses made of ultra-light ETFE will shelter the tropical animals proposing an indoor pathway, while on the other hand the outdoor exhibits of winter-hardy northern species will animate an outdoor promenade.

The zoo will be connected to the center of Saint Petersburg by a boat network and since the area is very large, several alternative transportations will be proposed to the visitors inside the zoo. The project of the new zoo of Saint Petersburg takes form in an international context where the public has great expectations towards ecological honesty. Besides of the participation in the international breeding programs for the species in danger, one of the real reasons of a zoo today is to inform about the dangers which menace the biodiversity, and to teach of what one can do in his everyday life to change the course of the negative events. By involving the visitors through emotional experience, zoos could become the most powerful medias in the service of the global ecological cause.

St.Petersburg Zoo

St.Petersburg Zoo

St.Petersburg Zoo

St.Petersburg Zoo
St.Petersburg Zoo
St.Petersburg Zoo

IMAGE CREDIT: © Artefactory

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexghero Alexandru Gheorghe

    WoW!