World-famous zoo to sell historic Clifton base for housing
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has been appointed to help create a new home for one of the world’s most famous zoos.
The firm was appointed with landscape practice Grant Associates to design the new Bristol Zoo which is due to open in 2024.
FCBS will be lead architect, conservation architect and zero carbon specialists, while Grant will be lead designer and landscape architect. Both firms are based in Bath.
FCBS has been tasked with “creating buildings with engaging spaces and sensitivity to external surroundings” that would provide an innovative visitor experience.
The new zoo will be built at Bristol Zoo’s Wild Place Project site on the northern edge of the city. The old Bristol Zoo Gardens site in the central district of Clifton will be sold for housing to fund work at the new, much larger facility.
A spokesperson for Bristol Zoo said their hope was to define what a 21st-century zoo should be like, with a landscape- and ecosystem-led design that would allow them to significantly expand their conservation and education work.
Feilden Clegg has previously worked with Bristol Zoological Society on a new conservation research centre in Madagascar where conservationists work to protect threatened lemurs and their habitats.
The new zoo will be designed to immerse visitors in the animals’ environments. Exhibits will provide links to the society’s international conservation work such as the Madagascar project.
Peter Clegg, senior partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, said: “Our vision for the new zoo is based around landscape, biodiversity and a sustainable future.”
He added: “We are looking forward to preparing plans that make the most of the existing buildings on site and creating new facilities for the visitors, the staff and most of all, the animals.”
Other consultants on the project include Momentum structural and civil engineers, E3 consulting engineers, town planners Avison Young, arboriculturists Wotton Tree Consultancy, ecology consultant Clarkson and Woods and transport and sustainability infrastructure consultant Hydrock.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world, opening in 1836 since when it has received more than 90 million visitors.
“Fundamental to the development of a residential-led scheme for the site will be the importance of providing good-quality, eco-friendly low-carbon homes largely in areas where there are already built structures on the site,” said the zoo spokesperson.
“In addition, the remaining green spaces will be enhanced to encourage greater biodiversity with consideration of public access to the gardens beyond the Clifton conservation hub that is already planned.”