Cedric Price structure at London Zoo to become home for colobus monkeys and parrots
Foster & Partners has won planning to convert London Zoo’s Snowdon Aviary into a walk-through enclosure for colobus monkeys and parrots.
Westminster council approved the plans to refurbish and alter the grade II*-listed structure and add an education centre.
The Snowdon Aviary, designed by Cedric Price with Frank Newby and Lord Snowdon in 1962, was the first in Britain to give visitors a walk-through experience, bringing them closer to the birds in their natural habitat.
In a statement Fosters described it as “still a sensational statement”.
About a year ago it was placed on Historic England’s at-risk register, which draws attention to structures in danger of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
The new design adapts the heritage structure to suit its new inhabitants as well as visitors. It replicates their natural habitat with a series of vertical elements at different heights that the monkeys can climb on to, encouraging them to leap, jump, and swing to the higher levels of the aviary.
Norman Foster said: “The rebirth of the Snowdon Aviary continues our work with historical structures. It is about the fusion of the old and new, but also about repurposing this extraordinary structure.
“The brand-new walk-though home will allow it to extend its role for decades to come. It will ensure the preservation of an iconic structure and honour its distinguished authors from the past, while preserving a unique built example of Cedric Price’s work.”
The new indoor education and community space will allow school groups of up to 30 people to learn more about the monkeys, their habitat and conservation, ZSL’s history and the architectural legacy of the zoo.