Dresden’s Zoo forms one edge of the “Grosser Garten”, which was designed by Peter Joseph Lenné on the south side of the city and is one of the oldest and smallest zoos in Europe. It was almost completely destroyed in 1945 and suffered piecemeal repair during the DDR era.
The brief for this competition covered one sixth of the zoo area and included a new entrance building and a building or buildings to house a number of African animals and plants.
Our competition winning design pressed the program into one compact form in order to maximise the outside areas for the elephants and mandrills and to minimise the loss of mature trees.
One single hall now houses all the animals and plants under an ETFE arched roof. The climate generated under this construction approximates a sub-Saharan climate and facilitates a consistent flora and fauna biotope.
A horizontal bar of accommodation in front of this hall frames the entrance and determines the elevation to the Tiergartenstrasse and the city. To the right of the entrance and visible from the public entrance plaza is a compound for brown bears, while a brick wall on the left screens a number of back-of-house working courtyards.