Masoala Rain Forest Hall, Zurich Zoo, Switzerland

Treetop Walkway

Client: Zoo Zürich
Architecture: Gautschi Storrer
Period: 2013
Surface area: 10 000m2
Project-Pdf

The first impression on entering the rain forest of the hall is its exotic climate. Warm, heavy, and humid air envelops visitors and plants alike. The humidity is immediately soaked up by the protective clothing. Constantly changing scents of mould and blossoms confuse the senses. The sonorous roaring of the waterfall gradually increases until it is, all of a sudden, visible between the trees in the distance. Twittering and chirping add their own mood to the uniform background noise and suggest the presence of cicadas and birds. Full of promise, fruits draw us to the trees, but only the animals succumb to their attraction. The visible is only part of this exotic world. The old familiarity of our daily environment is called into question. Ultimately, what we see dissolves and our glance is lost among finely crafted palm fronds, mighty tree trunks, and the constantly changing play of light and shade.

 

About 10 years ago, VOGT built the Masoala Rain Forest Hall in the Zurich Zoo. Ever since, it has been an inherent part of zoo visits and the expression of a new philosophy in presenting animals. Instead of only looking at single animals in their cages, visitors can walk through the spacious model of a whole habitat. Eventually, the zoo and VOGT provide the opportunity to experience the Masoala Rain Forest Hall not only on one, but on three different levels.

A ropeway connects two new towers, offering a walk through the tree tops, next to birds, flying foxes, and varies. The higher tower includes a platform offering a fascinating view over the canopy.

For more information, check www.zoo.ch (German only).