BIG Designs New Panda House for Copenhagen Zoo Shaped as Yin-Yang
Copenhagen-based Architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), in collaboration with Schønherr and AOE, designs a new Panda House for the Copenhagen Zoo. The yin-yang shaped design of the Panda House addresses the issues of extinction threats, habitat loss, and fragmentation, which the species is facing now. It does so by “providing a safe and contiguous environment that’s also conducive for reproduction,” as stated by the architects.
The circular-shaped design fits between the site’s adjacent buildings, and the circle is divided into ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ to separate the shelters of the male and female pandas. The architecture erects from the ground on opposite sides, forming the yin and yang. The resulting space below the raised ground will be used as stables, and the inclinations will make the pandas naturally visible for the audience.
The new Panda House will have two floors, “the ground floor, where access to the interior spaces are connected by a ramp circulation, and the second floor, which can lead to a trip along the rocky slope, through the native Nordic plants and into the dense bamboo forest,” as explained by the architects. The interior spaces are provided with lush greenery and natural landscape to “engage the visitors’ sense of wildlife and immersion within nature.” The ground floor, also, includes services for the visitors like a restaurant which has views of both, the pandas and the elephants, on the other side. That is in addition to a shop, just outside of the Panda House, connecting it to the Elephant House and the Main Square.
The total area of the project is 2,450m2, and it is estimated to cost $22 million. The construction works will begin this year, and the project is expected to be finished in 2018.