Construction begins on Rockhampton Zoo visitor hub

Rockhampton Regional Council has announced construction on a new visitor hub at the city’s zoo will soon get underway.

The $7.5 million project, designed by Cox Architecture, will create a new visitor entrance and public amenities block, that will be accessible from within the zoo as well as the broader Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

Rockhampton Region Parks, Sport and Public Places Councillor Cherie Rutherford said, “The driver behind this project was to formalize the entrance to the zoo and create a central visitor hub that serves not only the zoo, but also the Botanic Gardens, as well as the need for additional restrooms within the zoo precinct, which we know has been very long overdue.”

The new entry will be relocated to the southern end of the zoo. A shared pedestrian and slow vehicle zone will replace some of the existing on-street car parking.

“The design of the new building and its surrounds have been carefully curated to minimize the impact of the well established landscape and to maximize the future opportunities of the zoo,” said Cox Architecture in a design statement.

“The hub is arranged as a simple extruded form on the edge of the zoo and the gardens culminating in a more dramatic entry building.

“The entry establishes a new circulation route through the zoo that supports development of new exhibits, equitable grade pathways, and shade and pause points.”

The new building will also accommodate a series of enclosures for the zoo’s native and exotic reptiles, as well as a gathering space, plaza, and a wildlife viewing verandah, thanks to the deep overhang in the building’s design.

The building will also feature a screen that takes inspiration from the nearby Hugo Lassern Fernery in the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

Diversified Building Service was awarded the construction tender in January 2024 and the project is expected to be complete in June.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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