A historic zoo in Vincennes, France, originally built in 1934 is looking to complete a major renovation, boosting itself to sustainable park status. Backed by the French government, the Prime Minister pledged to help engage a public/private partnership to complete the project. With a focus on conservation, education and awareness, the renovated zoo will feature six exciting “biozones” to replicate endangered areas of the world. Run partially on solar power, the zoo will showcase several green buildings and sustainable landscape design.
Originally designed by Architect Letrosne and inspired by Hamburg’s zoo by Hagenbeck, the Vincennes Zoo’s original landmark was a large artificial rock that was considered “wild and spectacular, but overtly artificial.” The new renovation will focus on creating natural habitats and replicate six biozones: savanna, equatorial African rain forests, Patagonia, French Guiana, Madagascar, and Europe. Each of these biozones will be a chance to describe the conservation efforts going on in these areas to educate and bring about awareness of environmental issues.
The zoo’s landscape will be designed by TN PLUS Landscape Architects and the buildings will be designed by Beckmann N’Thepe. With help from two zoo specialists – Jean-Mark Lernould, former director of Mulhouse Zoo, and chairman of CEPA; and Monika Fiby, a zoo consultant, and project manager of the ZooLex Zoo Design Organization from Austria, the park is shaping up to be a model for new zoo construction and design. Solar power will be used to partially power the 14.5 acre park and renovations are expected to cost around €135 million. Regardless of your views on zoos and captivity of animals, this is an impressive and exciting concept for a zoological park.