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Setting a New Standard for Sustainability at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Viridian Landscape Studio™️, working in conjunction with SMP Architects, C7A, and Meliora Environmental Design, developed a new Children’s Zoo designed to increase visitors and improve stormwater management, and integrate more sustainable practices for the zoo as a whole. 


An Immersive experience in a local landscape

The design provides a venue for children to discover the natural world through exposure and interaction with animals and plants in a setting that references the natural and agricultural landscapes of  Southeastern Pennsylvania. Viridian Landscape Studio has endowed the Children’s Zoo with a sense of place through the use of native plants that reflect the plant communities and character of the region while ensuring the preservation and incorporation of significant trees into the design.

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Native trees and shrubs introduce children to local landscapes alongside new animal friends.

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Multi-level raceways invite people —and animals— to move across the zoo.

A landscape that works on many levels.

Viridian transformed the old paddocks, formerly inaccessible to visitors, into exhibit yards tied together with a graceful loop path. Visitors are greeted by goats climbing over a bridge at the entry courtyard and invited to watch squirrels navigate an obstacle course or feed ducks before they enter the new interior exhibit space which holds further delight. After learning about chickens, donkeys, and mini-horses, visitors traverse a bridge that mirrors an adjacent goat raceway. Above, more raceways offer a unique view of the zoo's primates as they travel across the property. At the center of the site, an engaging and educational play structure highlights the surprising similarities between humans and animals.

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