zoo concepts for the 21st century shift focus to animal welfare

zoo concepts for the 21st century shift focus to animal welfare

architectural competitions platform archstorming presents the three winning teams of its latest competition titled ‘coexist: rethinking zoos’. challenging the traditional concept of zoos, submissions propose interactive and imaginative alternatives such as elevated and non-intrusive paths, autochthonous species adapted to the climate and even 3D virtual animals. the winning proposals focus on improving the well being of animals and enhance the educational and scientific aspects of a zoo by including spaces for art, history and reflection.

the thai team’s winning proposal suggests that the zoo should be part of the urban fabric rather than being isolated



the competition brief by archstorming asked participants to redesign zoos with the social sensitivity of the 21st century, focusing on the education of visitors, scientific research and conservation of biodiversity. the proposed location for the projects is the barcelona zoo, which recently announced its intention to reinvent itself to adapt to the new mentality of its visitors, more committed to the welfare of animals.

concept diagrams of the winning project



the first prize proposal eliminates the ‘urban cage’ between humans and animals, leading to the enhancement of animal welfare and raising animal preservation awareness. the winning team, formed by worawut oer-areemitr, chanakarn assavasirisilp, thakan navapakpilai and bemjama prasertpan states,’ instead of fencing a new territory for wildlife as a typical zoological park, we believe zoo should be part of the urban organ rather than being isolated.’ the proposal comprises a new threshold, where people can observe animals in their natural environment.

section of the winning proposal



an international jury selected the winning projects among proposals of contestants from more than 40 nationalities. the jury includes architects who have contributed in recent years to redefine the concept of zoo, such as jan nowell of arterial design (australia); robert watson of watson architecture + design (australia); bas ten brinke of 70f (the netherlands); adrian iredale, finn pedersen and martyn hook of iredale, pedersen and hook (australia); and mario carreño and pietra sartori from carreño sartori arquitectos (chile).

sections of the winning proposal

the second place project is entitled ‘this is not a zoo’, submitted by elias vogel and estelle filliat from paris, france

the second project proposes a light footbridge hanging over the park and sheltering different programs: va eterinary school, laboratories, exhibition, conference and a biogas silo

the third place winner is a proposal by pinar kesim aktaş, mehmet cemil aktaş, ekin şeker and nergis aşa, a team from itanbul, turkey


section work of the third place proposal
visual of the third place proposal



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

  • Dear Sir,
    I represent Department of Wildlife Protection Department J&K State India in the capacity as One of the Regional Head.
    Presently State Govt is contemplating to establish two zoo’s one in Jammu Region (a sub Tropical zone ) and one in Kashmir (a temperate zone) recently we have called for an Expression of Intrest from interested consultants for Master Planning and Detailed Project reporting
    It will be appreciated if you can lend ur support and suggest as to what are the important areas to be focused at in the planning stage and any other advisors you may wish to share so that animal welfare prevails over human aesthetics
    Rashid Naqash
    Regional wildlife Warden


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