Featured Projects

Phoenix Zoo Administration Building

Award-Winning Project

  • Phoenix Zoo Admin Building
    Award of Merit

    AIA Wichita

  • Phoenix Zoo Admin Building
    LEED Gold


About the Project

Separated by various locations across the campus, the Phoenix Zoo needed a new home for administrative staff and volunteers to office and assemble. In response, WDM Architects designed and completed a new Volunteer and Administrative Center, comprised of three separate, rammed earth buildings sitting on a single elevated deck above a lake. A single high roof over all three buildings and the deck further augments the visual connection.

The lake was historically the location of a fish hatchery. As a nod to its history, WDM landscape architects were inspired to create a swooping, custom paver design in the entry plaza. Native stone-filled Corten gabion baskets define the edges of the courtyard and are complemented by native desert plantings.

In the staff and volunteer areas, WDM’s interior designer created an exciting and energizing environment by using bright pops of color which stand out against the white millwork.

In the executive area, colors were toned down to create a more serene environment. WDM’s interior designer unified these divergent areas by leaving the unique rammed earth walls exposed throughout, flowing through the spaces. Large floor-to-ceiling glass walls blur the distinction between interior and exterior spaces.

Phoenix Zoo’s commitment to conservation is showcased by this beautiful, certified-LEED Gold facility. LEED features include:

  • Solar panels provide 50% of the facility’s annual energy needs
  • Using the lake as a temperature exchange system for the HVAC system
  • Use of low VOC and FSC-certified materials
  • Rammed earth construction