Paris-Vincennes -F


Renovation of the Paris ZOO

Paris (France)

In their original environment, animal species occupy the space at different heights: from the sky to underground. This animal stratification is itself a link with the different levels of vegetation. In the Paris ZOO project pathways allow one to cross the biozones at different heights, prioritizing the correct position in relation to the living environment of the species presented.
The visitor travels inside six biozones: Equatorial Africa, Europe, African Savannah, Guyana, Madagascar and Patagonia. The animals will be presented with care taken over their geographical positioning in each biozone and avoiding the co-visibility of species that do not meet each other in nature. The visitor is immersed right from the entrance, which takes the form of a gorge between two rocks. This sas allows one progressively to disconnect from the outside world in order better to profit from the change in environment and the contrasts offered by the biozones. All the vegetation proposed plays on a mimicry between the plants in situ and the plants growing in the Parisian climate (silhouette, texture, foliage, quality of light and transparency).
The remodeled base of the zoo creates an unruly landscape, where the architecture and the landscape fit in to each other perfectly. Along
the route, the presence of water provides a thematic thread for the visitor.
The artificial rock is asserted as the emblem of the Vincennes zoo: the ‘Great Rock’, the ‘Big-cat House’ and the ‘Mousetrap’, particularly remarkable rocks, have been preserved and rehabilitated. The built elements necessary for the daily running of the zoo are integrated into artificial rocks or situated under the base of the zoo which is raised up in its eastern part. The greenhouses grow like a “crystallization” of the rock: a gradation of forms and texture where transparency dominates through glints of ultra-light Teflon.
Sometimes raised up, sometimes buried in the ground, the pathways will lead the visitor nearer to the animal, with footbridges letting ones straddle the ground, freeing up the useful surface for the animals. These pathways will also offer the possibility of being covered in bad weather. The itinerary will thus sometimes pass at the level of the canopy (colobes, aviaries, lemurs), or below ground at other points (otter pools, walruses, penguins). Between science end leisure, this new zoo thus offers visitors a renewed approach to knowing the animal and plant world, as part of a permanent endeavour to understand the evolution of our planet.

Client : Museum Nationale de l’Histoire Naturelle
Directeur de projet : Bruno Tanant et Jean-Christophe Nani
Project Manager : Andras Jambor
Team : Mandataire : TN+ / Architect : Beckmann n’Thépé / Expert Zoo: Monika Fiby / Zoologue: Jean-Marc Lernould / Scénographe: Nathalie Crinière, maquette Anne-Sophie Perrot et Corine Salomoni
Surface : 15 ha
Budget : 130M€
Year : 2005-2007