In 2007, Zoos South Australia committed to a significant redevelopment of Adelaide Zoo driven by the 10-year loan of two giant pandas from the People's Republic of China.
There was also a need to modernise and upgrade the entrance facilities and infrastructure. Sustainability and innovation formed a key focus for the redevelopment.
Arup provided project management services for the project to a brief which embraced the core message of conservation, creation of an exceptional space and provision of functionality for visitors, staff and animals.
The project includes a complete new perimeter fence, a new entrance space with visitor services, retail spaces, a new cafe, a function centre and conservation centre, and the new panda precinct – home to the Zoo’s resident red pandas as well as Wang Wang and Funi.
Driven by the deadline for the arrival of the pandas, this project was a true 'fast-track' development, requiring significant management, consultation and coordination to ensure that Zoos SA achieved its objectives.
Since the arrival of Wang Wang and Funi, attendance has increased significantly, delivering an excellent outcome for the Zoo and a wonderful platform to continue its core mission of conservation, education, research and environment.
Membership has increased six-fold, and visitors have flocked to see the only giant panda exhibit in the Southern Hemisphere.
The project team has been recognised nationally and internationally including a 2011 Chicago Athenaeum and European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies International Architecure Award, a 2010 World Architecture Festival shortlist and a national commendation for Urban Design in the 2010 Australian Institute of Architects National Awards.
Adelaide Zoo featured in The Arup Journal edition two, 2011.