The architects of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) recently published their plans for the new Panda House of the Copenhagen Zoo. The accommodation of the rare bear species is modelled on the yin-yang symbol, with two areas being inhabited by a female and a male panda. In addition to the already existing elephant house of Norman Foster, the zoo will present another architectural highlight from 2018 onwards.
Yin-Yang Philosophy as Inspiration
The well-known yin-yang symbol does not only consist of a curved, organic form, but also the opposites of dark/light, cold/hot, passive/active and female/male. The Bjarke Ingels Group adapted for its design the bifurcated shape of the symbol, to accommodate the female and the male in separate sections. The architects considered the difficult breeding conditions of the bears, which prefer to mate with unknown pandas. The two halves are only connected at the mating time. Reproduction, reflects the Chinese yin-yang philosophy: opposites build on one another and complement each other.
Visit to the Pandas
The Panda House is intended to give the visitors the feeling that they would meet the shy bears not in the zoo, but in their natural environment. On the one hand is the spacious enclosure with an area of 2450 square meters. On the other hand, the habitats are equipped with a dense and near-natural mist forest, in which the pandas can withdraw. The enclosure was developed in close collaboration with zookeepers, gardeners and veterinarians. The Panda House will be accessible from all directions and will be the centrepiece of the Copenhagen Zoo.