Korkeasaari Zoo by Beckmann-N'Thépé and TN+

French architects Beckmann-N’Thépé and landscape designers TN+ have won a competition to remodel Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki, Finland.

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The proposal involves creating a large glass-domed entrance and animal viewing building on the island zoo, and bringing back polar bears after a 30-year absence.

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Here's some info from the architects:

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BECKMANN-N’THEPE
sarl d'Architecture

KORKEASAARI ZOO
(Helsinki – Finlande)

Programme :
Redevelopment of helsinki Zoo / Landscape / greenhouses, auditorium, nocturama, reception office, souvenir shop, technical room, restaurant.

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Architects:
Beckmann-N’Thépé Agency (Paris)
Aldric Beckmann, Françoise N’thépé
Landscape design:
TN Plus Agency (Paris)
Bruno Tanant, Jean Christophe Nani
Client:
City of Helsinki (Finlande)
Area:
26,2 ha
Cost:
NC
Delivery date:

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Design team:
Project manager: Wilfried Daufy
Architects: Anne-Catherine Dufros
Assistant architects: Constance Héau, Jessica Pallatier
Landscape design: Guillaume Derrien, Agathe Turmel
Zoo expert: Jean Marc Lernould

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TEXT:

The zoological island of Korkeasaari will be cut off again. Its architectural interventions will be concentrated to make it wild and mysterious once more – a park / garden as a place of popular privilege, the nobility of the future city.

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Architecture disappears in favour of controlled geography, like the resurgence of a neighbouring landscape. The entrance grouping the set of utilities crucial to the running of the zoo becomes a focus of visual identity, somewhere between form and shapelessness, pierced with cavities.

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Above: entrance lower level. Below: entrance upper level

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Like layers of skin peeled back to receive an implant, there will be an above and a below that dialogue and interpenetrate one another. Areas of light, uncertainty, reflections and depths will be developed, offering the first emotions of a visit that will play on time and the seasons through four biozones :
- Central Asian Steppe
- Arctic Pole
- Asian Temperate Forest
- Central Asian Mountain

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Above: polar bear enclosure

More zoo buildings on Dezeen:

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Aviary, Geneva, by Group8

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Elephant House, Copenhagen Zoo, by Foster + Partners