The new home for giant pandas Mao Sun and Xing Er in Copenhagen Zoo resembles the panda’s natural habitat and creates a peaceful living environment for one of the world’s rarest mammals. Anchoring one of the oldest zoos in Europe, the new 2,450m2 panda house creates a harmonious indoor-outdoor space for the two pandas to roam freely and have the ideal conditions to mate, one of the major challenges facing pandas from being endangered. The new panda house is designed in collaboration with leading panda experts, zoo staff and vets.
The new panda house is formed by its residents' solitary nature, and its immediate surroundings including the new central square, the Nordic area, the monkey house and the elephant house. Mao Sun and Xing Er’s circular home is divided into two separate areas which appear as a yin and yang symbol, creating the freest and most naturalistic possible environment for the giant pandas’ lives and relationship with each other.
The panda house consists of two levels: a ground floor which encompasses a restaurant where visitors can dine while observing both animals simultaneously and an upper floor which invites guests to explore the native Nordic plants and venture into the dense bamboo forest. All interiors are designed to have the lush landscape at eye-level, allowing the visitors to sense the wildlife and nature at all times. The vegetation and landscape at the new panda house closely mimic the pandas’ natural habitat with patches of bamboo. It is important that the panda can find both shade and sun, as well as water and foliage. By creating two forests – a dense and lush ‘mist forest’ and a light green bamboo forest, the new panda enclosure gives Mao Sun and Xing Er the opportunity to move between the two according to season and temperature – just like pandas do in the wild, where they move up and down the hilly slopes of western China.
BIG创始人Bjarke Ingels 说：“建筑就像肖像画。为一个人设计一个家，就好像把他们的本质，他们的性格，和他们的个性以建筑的形式捕捉下来。以两只大熊猫为例，它们的独居性需要两个相似但又互不干扰环境：一个给毛笋，一个给星二。熊猫馆的体量就像一个巨大的阴阳图：雌雄双方互相协调，形成一个完整的圆形。曲线在部分上起伏，在阴和阳之间，以及在阴阳和我们之间，创造了必要的分离。我们将整个围栏从360度开放，将熊猫馆变成哥本哈根动物园的中心点
“Architecture is like portraiture. To design a home for someone is like capturing their essence, their character and their personality in built form. In the case of the two great pandas, their unique solitary nature requires two similar but separate habitats – one for Mao Sun and one for Xing Er. The habitat is formed like a giant yin and yang symbol, with two halves: the male and the female sides complete each other to form a single circular whole. The curvy lines are undulating in section to create the necessary separation between him and her – as well as between them and us. Located at the heart of the park, we have made the entire enclosure accessible from 360 degrees, turning the two pandas into the new rotation point for Copenhagen Zoo.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
Both pandas and guests hardly notice the separation; the enclosure is elevated to form stables and other facilities below ground, which simultaneously hides and integrates them into the landscape. By lifting the earth at both ends of the yin and yang symbol, an undulating landscape forms to allow direct views into the pandas’ habitat. The visitor experience happens along the perimeter of the round enclosure and in the paths that slope downward to give unique insight into the work of the zoo staff, vets and gardeners.
'The Panda House is designed to feel like humans are the visitors in the Pandas’ home, rather than Pandas being the exotic guests from faraway lands,' said David Zahle, Partner-in-Charge, BIG.
Name: PANDA HOUSE
Size in m2: 2450
Client: Copenhagen ZOO
Location Text: Roskildevej 32, 2000 Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark