The Zurich Zoo, situated on Zurichberg overlooking Zurich, is one of the most visited sights in Zurich. Due to the continual growing number of visitors, the entrance foyer was re-structured and adapted to current needs. In this process, the need to react subtly to the standing foyer, an excellent project from Dürig Architects in 1999, was applied. A complex, merged facility, embracing diverse areas such as the forecourt, counters, visitors’ centre, Zoo Shop, Zoo Café, volunteers’ centre and also including the station for the new zoo tram was realised in an all-out operation.
With flowing forms the new foyer respectfully orientates itself to the pre-existing structures. Curved walls, display windows and rooves combine in spectacular rolling lines. The flowing forms and a selective light design were implemented intentionally to quickly and intuitively guide the arriving visitors.
Great merit was given to authentic materials in the interior. An especially developed acoustic panel, made from packaging plywood, was put to use in the counter and visitors’ centre area. The natural grain reminding one of animal fur was superimposed with animalistic textures derived from irregularly drilled holes. Thus the guest is presented with an exciting backdrop which is emotionally attuned with the world of the zoo.