The Evolution of Zoological Design

March 7, 2018

Recognizing the changing attitudes towards animals in captivity, WDM Architects understands the importance of creating environments that showcase the well-being and vitality of the animals. We are redesigning zoos to ensure that visitors no longer view zoo animals with pity, but rather see them as thriving, healthy, and happy in their environment.


Aquarium experience


One of the key focuses of zoo renovations is to enhance operational efficiency and promote sustainability. Zoos, particularly those that are large, new, or undergoing renovation, have become pioneers in global conservation movements. They serve as innovative research centers for studying genetics, breeding, behavior, and other critical areas of research. Additionally, zoos are actively involved in local conservation efforts and sustainability initiatives, providing a safe haven for native species of wildlife and plant life. In some cases, these facilities even participate in programs that aim to reintroduce these species back into their natural habitats. Given the importance of these ongoing initiatives, it is crucial that zoo architecture is strategically designed to support these projects.

Furthermore, visitor experience has played a significant role in shaping the design and construction of zoos. Society is beginning to view zoos as not only places where animals can flourish, but also contribute to scientific understanding and conservation efforts. WDM is working with visionary leaders at zoos across the country in renovating outdated zoo facilities to align with this contemporary perspective, where animals are celebrated as vibrant and content inhabitants.

Through innovative design and thoughtful architecture, our goal is to enhance visitor experiences by providing a window into the lives of these incredible creatures. Our redesign efforts focus on promoting the natural behaviors and habitats of the animals, ensuring they have ample space, enrichment opportunities, and proper care. By showcasing the animals in environments that mimic their natural habitats, we enable visitors to witness their energy, curiosity, and overall well-being. This shift in perception encourages visitors to appreciate the animals as integral parts of our ecosystem, inspiring a sense of wonder and a desire to protect and conserve their habitats.

At WDM Architects, we understand the evolving nature of zoos and their importance for the animals residing there, as well as for visitors seeking new perspectives and interests. By creating immersive exhibits that prioritize the animals’ health and happiness, we want to foster respect and a sense of awe from visitors, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of the animal world.

Contact us today to learn more about our approach to responsible zoological design and architecture.