Zoo de Vincennes Renovation
images by TN PLus Landscape Architects & Beckmann N’Thepe
We’d like to revisit a project first published last year, a renovation of the zoological park in Vincennes, France. The zoo’s landscapes are designed by TN PLUS Landscape Architects, its buildings by Parisian architects, Beckmann N’Thepe. Partly run on solar power, the complex encompasses six “biozones,” attempting to replicate the savannah, equatorial African rainforests, Patagonia, French Guiana, Madagascar, and Europe. The concept was sold as an “ambassador” for conservation, with it’s primary mission to describe conservation efforts of these habitats in their native locations. The team had two zoo specialists, Jean-Mark Lernould, former director of Mulhouse Zoo, and chairman of CEPA, an organization for the protection of endangered species, and Monika Fiby, a zoo consultant, zoo designer, and project manager of the ZooLex Zoo Design Organization from Austria.
The teams participating were required to include specialists in the fields of landscape architecture, architecture, zoology, urbanism, tourism, scenography, green building, and engineering. The original zoo was opened in 1934 on 14.5 acres in the park of Bois de Vincennes. Its landmark is an artificial rock of 67 meters – “le grand rocher.” Architect Letrosne was stronly influenced by Hagenbeck’s zoo in Hamburg, when he designed “a theater stage in concrete, a stylish landscape, wild and spectacular, but overtly artificial.” Estimates for the renovation are around 135 million Euro. in October 2005, prime minister Dominque Villepin listed the zoo among 35 projects the government would achieve by engaging a public/private partnership.
We are always faced with the dilemma of creating environments for animals in captivity. How can we be more humane? At risk of drawing some ire, we often wonder how to introduce people to animals outside their immediate environment beyond watching a video or reading a book. Is it enough to learn to appreciate our global ecology in such manner? I think most of us accept that these environments are “replicas.” Perhaps our greater concern should be who governs our notions of “public good,” and who is really providing this zoo for our consumption? Who are these entities engaged in the public/private partnership? In these renderings, one doesn’t see the advertising for coca-cola which litters so many of our zoos/aquariums/wildlife parks in the United States today. What does it mean when corporations play a role in preserving, conserving, and educating the public about these environments? It is striking that affluent, educated, and influential citizens trust nature’s future to the authorship of a public/private partnership which may or may not be revealing their full interests when educating children about the future of these environments.
13 Comment on “Zoo de Vincennes Renovation”
July 9, 2009 at 9:54 am
An amazing project and some really fantastic renderings. Yes, the question of designing spaces for other animals is always an interesting one a filled with complex anthropocentric problems. And more than just corporate sponsorship of our natural environment (which doesn’t surprise me, or really raise my ire) I think we should be more concerned with how we collectively choose which version of “nature” gets to be preserved and re-told.
Eco Architects: TN PLUS proposes a sustainable renovation of zoological park in France | Green Cleaning Ideas
October 9, 2009 at 6:03 am
[…] Via: AnimalArchitecture […]
Inhabitat » Sustainable Renovation of Zoo Showcases Conservation Efforts
October 15, 2009 at 1:02 am
[…] Via EcoFriend and AnimalArchitecture […]
October 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm
Awsome! Kinda looks like the zoo on Superman’s Fortress of Solitude 🙂
October 15, 2009 at 2:01 pm
Thanks for the Comment. Keep it up. We appreciate what our readers have to say.
Le projet de rénovation du zoo de Vincennes « Nerd with attitude
October 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm
[…] Rénovation zoo de Vincennes [Via] […]
October 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm
135milion euro to pay architects while homeless people die in the streets of Paris, hm …
October 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm
“135milion euro to pay architects while homeless people die in the streets of Paris, hm …”
…As if the Architects will see even a tenth of that amount.
I assume you forego all material pleasures to feed as many poor as you can. Good for you.
Zoo de Vincennes Paris » Paris Zoological Park
December 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm
[…] #13 1 Minute Ago A few additional rendering for the new zoo. But no real info on progress: Zoo de Vincennes Renovation | Animal Architecture […]
January 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm
Awesome architecture. What’s the timeline for this project?
January 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm
Not quite sure David. But we’re keeping an eye out for it. Stay tuned for updates.
Ned and Jon.
March 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm
This zoo is awesome!!!
Seaside Zoo in St. Petersburg offers a Unique Design, Natural Environment
April 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm
[…] name of “Seaside Zoo” at St. Petersburg, Russia. This is the same team that crafted Zoo de Vincennes of France in and the Helsinki zoo in Finland. The main idea behind the design and the function of […]