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Bjarke Ingels Group Reveals Plans For Panda House in Copenhagen

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), in collaboration with Schonherr Landscape Architects and MOE consultancy, have dreamed up a new yin/yang-inspired Panda House for the Copenhagen Zoo. The structure is meant to resemble the natural habitat for these rarer and rarer mammals.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:March 30, 2017, 10:39 AM IST
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Bjarke Ingels Group Reveals Plans For Panda House in Copenhagen
The new Panda House Project (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group)
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Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), in collaboration with Schonherr Landscape Architects and MOE consultancy, have dreamed up a new yin/yang-inspired Panda House for the Copenhagen Zoo. The structure is meant to resemble the natural habitat for these rarer and rarer mammals.

Bjarke Ingels Group, or BIG, is an association of architects and designers with outposts in Copenhagen, New York, and London.

BIG, working with Schonherr Landscape Architects and MOE consultancy, have revealed images for a unique animal dwelling for the Copenhagen Zoo in the city's Frederiksberg neighborhood. The city's zoo is one of the oldest in all of Europe.

Encompassing a balanced indoor/outdoor area, the circular shape fits between existing buildings, at the intersection of multiple walkways. The Panda House is designed to feel like humans are the visitors in the pandas' home -- the landscapes are at eye-level -- rather than the other way around. The habitat, peppered with native Nordic plants and dense bamboo, provides ample space to roam about.

Moreover, it provides ideal conditions for mating -- a necessity, given the fact that the species is becoming endangered, in no small part due to the decimation of their natural living environments. "The curvy lines are undulating in section to create the necessary separation between him and her," Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner of BIG, said in a statement. "Located at the heart of the park, we have made the entire enclosure accessible from 360 degrees, turning the two pandas into the new rotation point for Copenhagen Zoo," Ingels continued.

The ground floor of the Panda House houses a restaurant located between the elephants and the pandas, so visitors can dine while observing both species, safari-style.

The new Panda House is scheduled to open in 2018, timed with the arrival of the two giant pandas from Chengdu in China. The gesture is one of goodwill from the Chinese government, in the aftermath of the Queen of Denmark's visit to the country in 2014. The construction is scheduled to commence later this year, once the construction budget (150 million DKK) has been secured.

Copenhagen Zoo is clearly full of innovative "animal house" ideas: the venue recently opened an area for Tasmanian kangaroos, designed by White Arkitekter, enabling visitors to get up close to the pouched creatures.

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