New Cage-Free Zoo Puts Humans in Captivity

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | August 5, 2014 | 1:18 PM EDT

The new design for Givskud "Zootopia," a zoo in Denmark, seems like science fiction: the animals will roam free, and the humans will be captive.

Designed by Bjarke Ingels (who's also designed a power station with a ski-slope roof and apartments in the shape of mountains) the zoo is to be a 300-acre area where animals roam free, without cages or tanks.

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Visitors to the zoo are kept hidden: buried underground where they can watch lions through a peephole, peering through peep-holes in the hills to view giraffes, hidden behind a bamboo screen in order to see the pandas, or behind piles of logs and tree trunks.


Visitors will also get to float around in giant mirrored pods, where the animals will only see their own reflections. Bars can even be viewed overhead from floating cable cars.

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From The Guardian:

"Architects' greatest and most important task is to ... make sure that our cities offer a generous framework for different people - from different backgrounds, economy, gender, culture, education and age - so they can live together in harmony," says the Bjarke Ingels Group, aka BIG. "Nowhere is this challenge more acrimonious than in a zoo."

"Instead of copying the architecture from the various continents by doing vernacular architecture, we propose to integrate and hide the buildings as much as possible in the landscape," say the architects - keen to avoid the usual Disneyish approach of Sumatran temples to see the tigers and Chinese pagodas to view the pandas, by doing away with buildings all together.

h/t: The Guardian