(in-) invisible zoo

DEEN

project: (in)visible year: 2018, type: open international ideas competition, program: rethinking zoo  area: 130.000m2, architect: Opposite Office, team: Benedikt Hartl, Thomas Haseneder, location: Barcelona, Spain customer: Parc Zoològic de Barcelona

For some, zoos are a way to take a look into exotic animal worlds. Others consider them nothing more than animal prisons. Finding the balance between entertainment and education, wildlife conservation and animal welfare is not easy. Studies show that animals know grief and stress and that boredom makes them sick.

In our flying (in)visible zoo concept for the Barcelona Zoo, the welfare for the animals is the highest principle. Animals life together and in a more natural habitat with a lot of spout instead of small compounds and cages with prison atmosphere. A species appropriate coexistence of animal and human is not possible due to the fact that animals will always be disturbed by the presence of human. Animals need peace and nature. So we separate the habitat of animals and human by making the people paths fly. The whole construction is supported by balloons. In this case, there are no structural elements such as columns and girders on the ground. The pathway hovers above the ground like a cloud and the animals have a open spaciously landscape.

Our principles are

- maximize the habitat of the animals

- ban the visitor respectively make him invisible

- create an open view for the animals into the landscape rather than compound fences.

We achieve that by

- demolish all constructional elements and the path system on the ground reducing the amount of animals reducing the „compounds“

- putting vegetarian animals together

- lifting the visitor in the air
- removing all fences and establish some natural borders such as water/ gorges/…