In most zoos, our attention is on the animals, not the architecture. But in Switzerland’s La Garenne zoo, the gorgeous LOCALARCHITECTURE-designed entrance pavilion is sure to turn heads. Built from sustainably sourced Swiss timber, the largely prefabricated building is a sculptural beauty with a curvaceous green roof and facade with repeating triangular elements. The pavilion is deliberately lightweight so that it can be disassembled, moved, and adapted as necessary over time.
The new entrance pavilion was commissioned for La Garenne zoo’s new location in Le Vaud and designed to “define the new identity of La Garenne zoo.” Both of the 315-square-meter building’s long facades are curved inwards and visitors pass through the center of each concave curve; this narrow channel marks the threshold between the outside world and the zoo. The pavilion’s hourglass shape flares out on both ends and includes a reception space, gift shop, restaurant, and multipurpose event space.
A wide and curved vegetated roof with overhanging eaves tops the building. The timber pavilion is largely prefabricated to minimize construction waste and to make any future dismantling processes easy. All structural timber is FSC-certified or equivalent and the building earned Certificat d’Origine Bois Suisse accreditation for its use of Swiss wood, which accounts for 97% of the building materials. The facade features large glazed triangular panels that alternate with prefabricated wooden triangular panels.
Images via Matthieu Gafsou