Our objective: Combine animal welfare, wildlife experience and scientific knowledge at the core of zoo design to enhance the visitor experience.
Modern zoo design is incredibly challenging, as it requires multiple interdisciplinary skills to be framed together.
The World Association of Zoo and Aquariums [WAZA, 2005] refers to the importance of animal welfare to modern collections, in terms of managing healthy, viable populations for conservation reasons, and conveying reliable conservation-educational messages to the visiting public. Exhibits must take part of all these aspects, but we could also add many factors such as safety - both for animals and visitors – but also daily routine work, sustainability and aesthetics.
Design in zoos is maybe one the most changing trends for decades. It involves being creative, innovating, but keeping in mind the purposes of animals’ purposes and their welfare as a prerequisite, whatever the goal for visitors - entertainment or education, conservation messages. By offering more flexibility for animals and for people, we give them the opportunity to experience new discoveries each time.
Animals in zoos are not just animals: they are animals in a living world. Habitats must be carefully considered and inspired by wildlife. It does not mean trying to duplicate, but providing animals with an environment that meets their needs, promoting the use of extensive behavioural repertoires.
Our challenge is to be creative but achievable. Whatever the size, the budget or the renown of zoos, they all have responsibilities and commitments for animals and kids, students and visitors. Adjustments to zoo design and animal collection choices will match animals’ needs and visitors’ expectations.
AKONGO’s team is dedicated to advise you on zoo design projects to:
- Synthesize the needs of the species in terms of the physical and social environment
- Adapt the scientific knowledge about the wild to apply to captive animals’ management
- Ensure animal welfare to promote well-being at work and enhance the visitor experience
- Design a coherent and didactic approach for visitors