The Taronga Conservation Society Australia has unveiled a new Australian native wildlife exhibit and overnight accommodation facilities for Taronga Zoo.
The proposed Taronga Wildlife Retreat will include five new accommodation pods, a guest lodge, and a restaurant designed by Cox Architecture, surrounding a proposed new exhibit designed by Green and Dale Associates.
The new precinct will be located at the eastern edge of the zoo, adjacent to the existing Taronga Centre. A new four-storey structure housing kitchen and dining facilities will be added to the Taronga Centre.
The proposed buildings are designed recede into the landscape, putting priority on the the Australian wildlife exhibit. The guest lodge will be a single storey circular structure incorporating the base of an existing pavilion that was once a fountain.
The accommodation pods, which range from two to four storeys tall and contain 62 rooms, will be clad in reconstituted timber and perforated metal blades. To camouflage buildings, native planted green screens will cover the northern facades of the pods and wrap over roofs.
The Australian wildlife exhibit is designed to stimulate visitor interest in biodiversity of Australia. It will feature an Australian rainforest landscape with platypus pools, a freshwater eel display, an aviary, a disguised koala enclosure, and animal encounters with echidnas, potaroos, bandicoots, wallabies, red kangaroos and Tasmania devils.
It is also part of a $150 million centenary masterplan to redevelop the zoo. Other projects in the pipeline include a new sumatran tiger experience designed by Lahznimmo and the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning by NBRS and Partners. Taronga Zoo will celebrate its 100th anniversary in October 2016.
The designs for the Taronga Wildlife Retreat are currently on exhibition for public feedback until 23 May 2016. Submissions can be made here.
The Taronga Wildlife Retreat is an addition to the zooâ€™s existing overnight accommodations offering which include the Roar and Snore experience Taronga Zoo and the Zoofari Lodge at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.