Thuringia Zoo Erfurt, Germany, New Lemurs` Enclosure

Thüringer Zoopark Erfurt, Germany
  • Architectural Work
    Performance / Services: 2 - 8
03 / 2012
Gross floor area:
208 qm
Cooperation with Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten, Dresden, Germany
The draft concept of the "Lemurs' Forest" takes visitors to the seemingly natural habitat of the animals. The forest surrounds the visitors' enclosure and continues in its interior. The house is in the facility's background and is integrated with the landscape in form and color. In differentiated "experience spaces", visitors can view the animal kingdom from various perspectives: for example, one path runs underneath tree crowns, while a treetop bridge lets visitors navigate around the tree branches. The climbing facilities are there not just for the lemurs. Children and adults alike can follow the example of monkeys and climb, move hand over hand and swing.

There is an old lime tree on the property, and it marks a special site: the so-called "Lemurs' Glades". From there runs a slightly-inclining path between two open-air enclosures, taking the guests to the "visitors' cave" at the building. It is protected from the elements and provides an unobstructed view into the enclosure or the feed kitchen. The façade looks like a "sleeping nest" made of branches and twigs. To allow for the animals' urge to climb, the form of the house rises steadily toward the animal enclosure. Climbing trees planted in there allow for an "ascent" of up to 5 meters. The lighting from the sky-lights creates the impression that the animals live under the open sky.