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sooty mangabey

Picture of new seal pool

A puzzling choice of development at Saarbrucken Zoo, not least because, judging by this picture, the pool will not be particularly big (but the surrounding concrete will be vast), while the imaginary animals depicted appear a great deal more gymnastic than any common seal I have ever seen... Goodness knows when it will be completed.

Picture of new seal pool
sooty mangabey, 6 Nov 2011
    • sooty mangabey
      A puzzling choice of development at Saarbrucken Zoo, not least because, judging by this picture, the pool will not be particularly big (but the surrounding concrete will be vast), while the imaginary animals depicted appear a great deal more gymnastic than any common seal I have ever seen...

      Goodness knows when it will be completed.
    • snowleopard
      This seems like a concept from the 1960's, and I'm curious as to why the zoo would even consider building something reminiscent of Lubetkin. There is no attempt at creating a natural-looking habitat, there is an overwhelming amount of concrete, and everything looks as clean and sanitary as a dentist's office. The green hillside is the most impressive feature of the entire complex!
    • Maguari
      Quick, call the police, call the United Nations, just STOP THEM!






      :D


      I agree that it looks like it will have a lot of concrete, quite possibly too much. But I will wait to see the finished pool, and I at least applaud them for trying something a little different. Time will tell.
    • PAT
      That's what they were saying as the Casson Pavilion was being built. :)
    • Maguari
      And it was true then as well. The one thing I hate to see is zoo after zoo building identical exhibits, with no attempt at innovation. This may or may not end up as a good exhibit, but I will still applaud the fact that they haven't built another 'Rocky Point Preserve' clone, even if I end up criticising what they have built. ;)

      It's also worth bearing in mind this is a CG artist's impression and limited in detail - until we see the end result we don't know what it will look like.
    • reduakari
      No shade, no non-concrete substrate--on those points alone this monstrosity fails to meet even the most basic criteria for housing seals/ sea lions.

      And as far as aesthetics, it is so clearly influenced by Tecton Group-era modernism that it would qualify as "retro.". There is absolutely nothing "new and different" here; "tried, failed and abandoned for good reasons" is a bit more like it.

      Curious indeed.
    • Maguari
      As I hope was clear from above, I'm not so much defending this design as railing against the idea that there's only one way to build an exhibit.

      But equally, we're all assuming all the grey areas on this will be bare concrete, which may or may not be the case. I just wanted to point out that the sign doesn't specifically label this as concrete, and so even if it looks as though it will be, we can't be sure.
    • reduakari
      Well, to stir the pot a bit more, I am happy to assert that while (of course) there are many ways to build exhibts, there IS a BEST way to do it. And that is to faithfully re-create, as accurately as possible, the natural habitat of the animals it displays, to engage the visitors in ways that underscore that message, and to concurrently provide the features needed to successfully manage the exhibited species in a way that maximizes animal well-being and eases facility maintenance.

      Not too many exhibits meet all of these parameters, but this, IMO is what zoos should strive for. And if that means building multiple "Rocky Point Preserves" then so be it.....
    • Maguari
      I don't entirely disagree, but I do think that this concept of the 'ideal' exhibit to which all others must aspire leads to copycat zoo exhibits, most of which are nowhere near as good as the 'archetype' they seek to emulate. I just think more zoos should build, say, a seal pool to suit their zoo, rather than trying to recreate a version of some chosen 'ideal' seal pool mangled into the shape and size to fit in. Just as zoos not really suited to zoogeographic zones start trying to squeeze the whole zoo into a pattern 'because it's the modern way' (looking at you, Paignton!).

      I'm afraid I also have an automatic aversion to the word 'message' when it comes to zoo exhibits. I agree with the existence of a 'message', but I think a lot of the time it is forgotten that the sheer joy and experience of seeing animals can be 'message' enough - leading to species that make great displays but lack a 'story' being sidelined.
    • reduakari
      Fair enough, especially on the latter point.

      However, i will still argue that the best "archetype" for an exhibit is nature, not another zoo exhibit (as good as a Hagenbeck panorama/Woodland Park bear exhibit/ Congo Gorilla Forest/Masoala might be). An exhibit that truly looks to nature as a guide does not have to be a copy of anything done at any other zoo
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