For the new Lemur exhibit at the Melbourne Zoo, Snowdon Architects designed nest-like pods made of recycled timber and rattan. The structures are interconnected with a network of elevated walkways that offer curated views of the exhibit. And the Entry Tunnel and Tree House provide visitors with an opportunity to become immersed in the simulated environment of rainforests.
The project was built in collaboration between the Melbourne Zoo, Urban Initiatives as landscape architects and Arterial Design as interpretive designers. The exiting rainforest trail was complemented with a walk-through exhibit that includes an opportunity for visitors and lemurs to interact. The Tree House also acts as an exit point from the area where Lemurs and visitors share the same space.
The pods are nestled together with support structure made from black structural steel and recycled timber. Their sides are woven from rattan and have an organic appearance that blends into the natural environment. The new exhibit reuses the existing, defunct one, including a moat altered to accommodate a new waterway. Used materials are easily maintained and their recycling contributes to the project’s overall sustainability.
Images © Drew Echberg