Singapore Zoo Entrance Plaza

November 10, 2015 francesteodosio


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Singapore Zoo attracts more than one million visitors a year. All of them pass through this new entrance plaza, which has four primary components: a portico signalling arrival, a plaza for festival activities, a courtyard with tropical shade trees and reflecting pool, and colonnades to direct pedestrian flow. 
The refurbished entrance to the Singapore Zoological Gardens welcomes visitors to this popular attraction. Integrating several existing buildings, the entrance centres on a courtyard around which circulation space, ticketing booths, shops and cafés are organized. With the use of timber, open structure and a tropical courtyard, the entrance complements the zoo’s existing landscape and enclosures. A series of long colonnades in an orthogonal pinwheel defines the central courtyard. The colonnades define two major access paths from the drop-off points for taxis, buses, coaches or cars, while a third leads into the zoo. As floating solid elements, the offices, amenities and visitor services that surround the courtyard are in three clusters. A large plaza accommodates festival activities. Fitting for the tropics, an expansive flat roof provides shelter from the heat, while open edges and lofty ceilings promote cross ventilation.

Building Information


80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore, 729826 Singapore

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24 800 sq. ft.

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Singapore Zoo Entrance Plaza


Singapore Zoological Gardens


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 A grid of oversized timber-clad columns supports the roof, reflecting the trunks of mature trees in the gardens. Above the courtyard, a lowered ceiling of timber battens and glazed roofing filter the daylight. The verticality of the structural columns is continued in the arrangement of timber poles that screen the walkways and courtyard. Solid walls are clad in marine-ply, intended to age over time. Certified plantation timbers were specified, particularly balau timber on the columns and railway-sized sleepers for the deck surrounding the courtyard reflection pond. he buildings are steel-framed structures clad with staggered panels of marine plywood intended to weather over time. The courtyard deck is constructed of Balau sleepers; the same wood is used as column cladding. Roofing is typically lightweight steel. Freestanding masonry walls are clad in split-faced honey-coloured granite. 


Aga Khan Award for Architecture Shortlisted Project

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