peter kis atelier: the great rock budapest zoo
peter kis atelier: the great rock budapest zoo peter kis atelier: the great rock budapest zoo
dec 19, 2010

peter kis atelier: the great rock budapest zoo

‘the great rock’ at the budapest zoo by peter kis atelier all images courtesy peter kis atelier




hungary-based architecture firm atelier peter kis is renovating ‘the great rock’ at the budapest zoo, an artificial land mass designed to mimic the natural habitats of the animals on display. originally built in 1909, the 40 m high hills feature an internal space of 38,850 m3. the design includes the reworking of this cave-like area in to an exhibition space for cultural programs, events and conferences.

outdoor stair access




the form of the hills is supported by a system of scaffolding made from reinforced concrete. this was layered with artful composition of artificial stone boulders and granite. featuring a number of natural environments such as lawned meadows, gorges, caves, and a lake, ‘the great rock’ encourages visitors to climb the hills to see a panoramic view of the zoo.

model of structure with peeled-back rock skin

3d model of interior space and structure

3d model of concrete structure




the interior of ‘the great rock’ was open to visitors for approximately 80 years. since its inception, it has been everything from a lion’s den to an ice rink, from a theater to a pony riding menage. it has been declared unsafe for decades and serves as storage space today. the re-design will gain several thousand square meters of new exhibition area and lecture theatres. the existing structural elements will be incorporated into the space to highlight the foreign atmosphere of the enclosed facility.

render of interior space (left) stair circulation (right) dome space

shots of the state of the space during renovation

original foundation plan

  • looks like something out of Tarkovsky…or team america?

    necessary renovation? says:
  • amazing spaces

    AML says:
  • i want a house like that. price tag?

    turmie says:
  • it looks amazing. my jaw dropped.

    :O says:
  • looks like a contemporary version of that gaudi’s cript.

    diogo says:
  • Its difficult to see what additions the architect has made. The original timber structure is quite wonderful in its own right and apart from ‘painting’ everything white and adding a few floors what else has been changed.

    Kim Mawdsley says:

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