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BIG creates Mao Sun and Xing Er's natural habitat in their circular home of Panda House
Denmark Architecture News - Nov 4, 2019 - 15:09 3531 views
BIG has completed its sinuous building to house the two giant pandas arriving from China. Situated at Copenhagen Zoo, the new life of pandas has been documented by architectural photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj, showing that how their natural habitat was shaped and provides them a peaceful environment to interact each other.
BIG revealed its first design concept in 2017, after two years, the new home for giant pandas Mao Sun and Xing Er in Copenhagen Zoo resembles the panda’s natural habitat and creates a peaceful living environment for one of the world’s rarest mammals.
The two giant pandas have settled in at Copenhagen Zoo since arriving from Chengdu, China. Covering a total of 2,450-square-metre area, BIG anchored one of the oldest zoos in Europe, the new Panda House creates a harmonious indoor-outdoor garden for the two pandas to roam freely and have the ideal conditions to mate—one of the major challenges facing the vulnerable species.
"The Panda House is formed by its residents’ solitary nature and its immediate surroundings, including the central square, the Nordic area, the monkey house, and the elephant house," said BIG.
"Mao Sun and Xing Er’s circular home is divided into two separate areas which appear as a yin and yang symbol, creating the freest and most naturalistic possible environment for the giant pandas’ lives and relationship with each other."
Due to the structure's sinuous volume, both pandas and guests hardly notice the separation. The enclosure is elevated to form stables and other facilities below ground, which simultaneously hides and integrates them into the landscape.
By lifting the earth at both ends of the yin and yang symbol, an undulating landscape forms to allow direct views into the pandas’ habitat. Visitors can experience the building along the perimeter of the round enclosure and in the paths that slope downward for insight into the work of the zoo staff, vets and gardeners.
BIG's Panda House consists of two levels: a ground floor with the French-Asian bistro PanPan for visitors to dine while observing both the pandas and the elephants, and an upper floor with native Nordic plants and a path venturing into the dense bamboo forest.
All interiors are designed to have the lush landscape at eye-level, creating an immersive experience with wildlife and nature at both sides. The vegetation and landscape at the Panda House closely mimic the pandas’ natural habitat with patches of bamboo scattered throughout.
The pandas must be able to find both shade and sun, as well as water and foliage. By creating two forests – a dense, mist forest and a light green bamboo forest, Mao Sun and Xing Er have the opportunity and flexibility to explore both landscapes, according to the season, temperature and preference.
Project name: Panda House
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Partners In Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Manager: Ole Elkjær-Larsen
Project Leaders: Nanna Gyldholm Møller, Kamilla Heskje, Tommy Bjørnstrup
Design Team: Alberto Menegazzo, Alex Ritivoi, Carlos Soria, Christian Lopez, Claus Rytter Bruun de Neergaard, Dina Brændstrup, Eskild Schack Pedersen, Fabiana Cortolezzis, Federica Longoini, Frederik Skou Jensen, Gabrielé Ubareviciute, Gökce Günbulut, Hanne Halvorsen, Høgni Laksáfoss, Jiajie Wang, Jinseok Jang, Joanna Plizga, Lone Fenger Albrechtsen, Luca Senise, Maja Czesnik, Margarita Nutfulina, Maria Stolarikova, Martino Hutz, Matthieu Brasebi, Pawel Bussold, Richard Howis, Seongil Choo, Sofia Sofianou, Stefan Plugar, Tobias Hjortdal , Tore Banke, Victor Bejenaru, Xiaoyi Gao.
All images © Rasmus Hjortshøj
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