A new exhibit called Upper Australia will soon be constructed at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, allowing visitors to see Australia’s native animals in their natural habitats “up in the trees or down in a burrow”.
Lahznimmo Archiects and Spackam, Mossop & Michaels designed the new exhibit, which aims to express a message of conservation by being built with minimal intervention to the existing landscape. the new structures, which will be hidden within a tree canopy will not be visible from the harbour.
The new Western Pavilion, which is a large sculptural structure made from natural recycled hardwood and anodised aluminium, will mark the official Upper Australia entry. The colour palette will complement the surrounding landscape.
The “main exhibit path will snake through various native landscapes, ranging from lush rainforest through to arid woodland and then up into the tree canopy via an elevated boardwalk to view koalas at their natural sitting height in the tree canopy,” state the architects.
“The Australia journey then winds its way down through the Blue Mountains rock escarpment and then underground into the Nocturnal House; where a complete refurbishment of the existing building will provide state-of-the-art keeper facilities and unique night-time viewing of Australia’s nocturnal creatures.”
At the northern precinct will be the Macropod exhibit, where kangaroos, wallabies and emus can be viewed at close range, as they exist in their natural habitat. The landscape will offer an immersive experience that reflects Australian landscapes, “from dry rainforests and hanging paperbark swamps to open woodlands”.
In the northeastern section of the precinct, a koala exhibit will take advantage of existing levels between the plateau and the zoo’s boundary fence to create an exciting and elevated view.
Standing at the centre of the precinct will be a hardwood timber open deck covered with a timber roof, called the Treehouse. This will connect the macropods and koala exhibits and link to the Nocturnal House. It will provide shaded seating areas and retail and bathroom amenities.
Click here to view the official planning documents.