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ZooChat Exhibit Design Competition #1

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by jbnbsn99, 10 Aug 2015.

  1. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    'Australasia' Fantasy Exhibit Design

    So I have decided to participate! And this is actually the first time I have properly designed an exhibit ever so I thought I'd give it my best shot! :)

    My exhibit is Australasia and is divided into four sections - an Entrance Area, New Guinea (Part 1), Australia (Part 2) and New Zealand (Part 3).

    Attached is a PDF with the write-up and images of my design from google Sketchup all included.

    I'm very pleased with it and I look forward to comments and constructive criticisms!

    (Also, sorry to all those from New Zealand for relegating your country to a just over half acre corner next to Australia which is mostly just a playground :p)

    (Note: It was supposed to be all one PDF, but I had to make it three so that each file was within the size limit for the forum)
     
  2. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Grade:

    Design 0-20 17
    Write-up 0-20 20
    Animal needs 0-20 17
    Visitor needs 0-20 17
    Landscaping 0-10 5
    Interpretation 0-10 9
    85

    Well done.

    Notes:

    1. The species list is outstanding. In the long run, I'm not sure what adding the introduced animals to the exhibit adds. For my taste, it takes away from the uniqueness that is the fauna of this region.

    2. The whole exhibit complex very much seems like an old-school European exhibit. That is to say, a conglomeration of enclosures that don't, when put together, tell a coherent story. You seem to have arranged things more taxonomically rather than ecologically.

    3. Some attention is paid to landscaping, but it is only a cursory glance.

    4. You could create far more dynamic exhibits if you ditched single species enclosures and went with mixed species. E.g. mixing the wallabies in with some of the birds.

    5. The ride through the kangaroo enclosures is probably more of a draw back than a plus. For one, you have no way of getting the vehicle back to the loading station. Two, a ride with only 2 species that can be easily seen on foot is not the most dynamic for the visitors.

    6. In New Zealand, your off exhibit penguin house is redundant. Your penguins are already indoors. There's no need to make a second house.

    7. I would really love to see all three parts put together. As is, it feels like three separate exhibits.

    8. I think the Australia area suffers from "monolithic-continent syndrome." That's an exhibit disease that I just made up, but essentially it is where exhibits take a whole continent and assume it is simply one large ecosystem. This is most often seen in African exhibits.

    9. Your write up is really quite well done. It's perhaps the best part of the submission.
     
  3. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, jbnbsn99. I appreciate the advice and I agree with everything you have said entirely :)

    I never really thought about organising it more geographically and by ecosystem but I definitely agree that this would be an improvement if after entering from New Guinea it went tropical North Queensland down through Australia to Tasmania and then to New Zealand etc.
     
  4. 11jadaway

    11jadaway Well-Known Member

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    I've definitely got to work on my exhibit designing skills. Well what did I expect from my first go.
    Also, on a side note, I did picture the zoo being in the UK.
     
  5. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Ambalavao Madagascar Experience

    So this is my contribution :) the Ambalavao Madagascar Experience. The site is just under 9 acres. It is dedicated to the display, conservation and education of and about Madagascan species including multiple Lemurs and other rare and unusual animals

    The enclosures are designed to be as large and as naturalistic as possible. Highlights include a huge nocturnal house featuring what would be Europe's only Sportive Lemurs (Red Tailed) and Highland Streaked Tenrecs (both which would be sourced from Madagascar as pair of a new ex-situ conservation program) and a group of Madagascan Flying Fox. A 2 acre lemur walkthrough displaying five different species. Crowned Sifaka's and Blue Eyed Black Lemur (the latter mixed with Crowned Lemur)

    None primate species include Malagasy Giant Jumping Rats in the nocturnal house (mixed with Fat Tailed Dwarf Lemur) Fossa and Plowshare Tortoises which would be onshow in the restaurant

    VISITOR WALKTHROUGH:

    Visitors enter to the right of the development. On their left the first exhibit is a moated island (1/2 an acre) for a breeding group of Crowned Sifaka. An offshow house is situated at the back of the Island for their use along with a small keeper area

    Turning right here, visitors have the option to see the Gentle Lemur exhibit which is located to the left the Lemur Walkthrough. North of this is the education center which would be used for school groups and visitors when not in use by the former.

    Straight ahead of the entrance they pass through a set of double gates which take them into a 2 acre walkthrough exhibit. The enclosure is heavily planted and features several trees which the Lemurs are free to climb. A small group of Radiated Tortoise are allowed free range of the enclosure during good weather. It is open topped but with a 10ft fence (with hotwire) surrounding it to prevent escapes. The five Lemur species are:


    • Ring Tailed Lemur (none breeding group)
    • Black and White Belted Ruffed Lemur (small breeding group or pair)
    • Mongoose Lemur (breeding pair or group)
    • Red Bellied Lemur (none breeding)
    • Black Lemur (breeding pair or group)

    Situated at the back of the outdoor enclosure are three separate but interconnecting (via overhead raceways) houses for the Lemurs use. These are offshow except for the fronts which are visible from inside the walkthrough. A keeper yard is also situated behind. Visitors follow the path through the enclosure before exiting at the other end

    Opposite the double door exit for the walkthrough is a ¾ acre moated enclosure for a mixed exhibit of Crowned lemur and Blue Eyed Black Lemur (both breeding groups/pairs). Visitors view both species from across the moat. The island is heavily planted and again has several trees that the Lemurs are free to climb. A house for both species is located on the other side of the enclosure. Unlike previous houses visitors are able to see into part of it through a glass viewing window.

    From the side of this exhibit nearest to the walkthrough exit, visitors now have the choice to go left or right. To the right is the toilets and visitors restaurant. The restaurant is designed to have a capacity of upto 70 people at once. Inside are three exhibits for reptiles including two species of Chameleon (Parsons and Short Horned) and a group of Plowshare Tortoises. The latter are kept behind floor to ceiling glass for their security. Also viewable from the restaurant is one of the two Fossa exhibits. A one way mirror allows visitors to see into the outdoor enclosure without disturbing the Fossa

    Coming out of the restaurant is an exhibit for Narrow Striped Mongoose (breeding group/pair) straight ahead. An offshow area for them is located at the top of the enclosure nearest to the restaurant entrance/exit. The outdoor enclosure is onshow and the Mongoose have access to it during good weather.

    To the right are the previously mentioned Fossa enclosures. The exhibit is divided into two with only the one outdoor enclosure being onshow (through the one way mirror in the restaurant) whilst the second remains offshow. However a viewing window into the house (using the same one way system as the mirror on the outdoor enclosure) does give visitors another chance to see them.

    The next enclosure (directly opposite the indoor Fossa house) is home to a group/pair of Northern Bamboo Lemur. The indoor house is offshow. The total exhibit (indoor and outdoor) is roughly ½ an acre. The enclosure is roofed and fenced with wire mesh. It is heavily planted to give opportunity’s for hiding and designed (like all good exhibits should be) to encourage breeding through giving the animals privacy.

    After viewing the Bamboo Lemurs, visitors then follow a path before coming to an 80,000 square feet nocturnal house located towards the end of the experience. This house is home to:

    • Aye-Aye – both indoor and outdoor exhibits are provided through the latter would normally only be used during the night (when the zoo is closed) due to the reverse lighting in use inside

    • Red Sportive Lemur – a pair would be sourced from Madagascar to form the beginnings of a new ex-situ breeding programme. The species was previously kept at Paris Zoo many years ago but has not been held in Europe since. Research would be carried out to discover husbandry requirements and other essential knowledge which could then be passed to other collections in the hope of once again establishing them in Europe

    • Fat Tailed Dwarf Lemur would be in the next exhibit along. They would be mixed with Malagasy Giant Jumping Rats to create a multispecies exhibit

    • The enclosure opposite would be used for a group of Madagascan Flying Fox and Highland Streaked Tenrecs

    All enclosures in the nocturnal house would be viewable through plexiglass viewing windows. The lighting would be reversed to give visitors the best chance of seeing the animals active. An animal feed kitchen is also situated behind the Aye-Aye exhibit


    MAP COLOR CODE:
    Green – Animal outdoor exhibit
    Orange – Animal indoors and/or staff area
    Brown circles – trees (not pictured in all exhibits due to descriptions)
    Yellow – visitor facility
    Grey – visitor paths
    White – Nocturnal house indoor exhibit
    Blue – water moat
    Red (line) – visitor entry/exit point

    SIZES:

    Total roughly 9 acres for the whole site

    Lemur Walkthrough: 2 Acres (87,000 SQF)

    Sifaka Island: ½ an acre (21,000 SQF)

    Visitor facilities: (toilets, restaurant) ¾ of an acre (30,000 SQF)

    Blue Eyed Black and Crowned Lemur Island: ¾ of an acre (30,000 SQF)

    Narrow Striped Mongoose enclosure: 10,000 SQF

    Fossa house and enclosures: 1 acre (43,000 SQF)

    Northern Bamboo Lemur house and enclosure: 20,000 SQF

    Gentle Lemur house and enclosure: ½ an acre

    Education Centre: 1/3 of an acre

    Nocturnal House: 86,000 SQF (2 acres)

    Signage is located at all exhibits to give information about the various species and there habitats. Visitors are also offered the chance to buy a guidebook specific to the Ambalavao Experience giving facts and knowledge about the species on display. Paths are tarmac to meet disability requirements and laws
     

    Attached Files:

  6. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    You had a go, and did well. I bet a lot of projects start out like yours and gradually the faults are ironed out and improvements are made.
     
  7. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Nisha's exhibit

    Grade:

    Design 0-20 10
    Write-up 0-20 12
    Animal needs 0-20 15
    Visitor needs 0-20 10
    Landscaping 0-10 0
    Interpretation 0-10 6
    53

    1. Species choice is interesting. You have 13 lemur species, but no birds, and almost no herps. A higher diversity could be had.

    2. You have multiple holding buildings for your various species. A single holding building with exhibits that spoke off of it would be far simpler and more cost efficient.

    3. Your visitor area seems to be a total mess. A visitor to this exhibit will have to back track multiple times to see everything. There are dead ends, pinch points, and spots where you will get a backlog of visitors on a busy day.

    4. Landscaping is non-existent.

    5. You too suffer from "monolithic-continent syndrome." Well, in this case quasi-continent island. Everything is lumped together with no rhyme or reason.

    6. My gut says that your enclosures are almost too big from the visitor's perspective. Your fossa and mongoose exhibits are as large as many good exhibits for lions. I have a feeling that these smaller animals will get lost in these exhibits and visitors will be overly frustrated in trying to locate the animals. For example: Bronx Zoo's whole Madagascar exhibit is 18,000 sq. ft. Your nocturnal house alone is 86,000 sq.ft.

    7. I have a feeling that the Alaotran Gentle Lemur exhibit and the education centre (sic) will be completely missed by the visitors. Most guests will enter the walk-through first and be completely diverted from those areas.

    53/100
     
  8. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    For your and others' interest (also for mine as I wanted to see what it looked like), I have imported all the models into one and done the whole of my fantasy exhibit design together. You can't see detail in this picture because it is too zoomed out (see the close ups in the PDFs for that) but it gives a nice overview.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 27 Aug 2015
  9. longleat diego

    longleat diego Well-Known Member

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    I had drawn a map for a bhuthan exhibit but its gone:(
     
  10. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    You still have 9 days.
     
  11. DesertRhino150

    DesertRhino150 Well-Known Member

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    Here is my design - a remake of my Pleistocene Predators exhibit, which has had several additions and changes made to it.

    I have had to split it up into three sections:

    1. The written overview of the exhibit.

    2. The species list and an overview of the entire complex made in SketchUp.

    3. Some examples of signage that I made as a visual representation of what was written.

    Hope you enjoy it :)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Design 0-20 17
    Write-up 0-20 18
    Animal Needs 0-20 17
    Visitor Needs 0-20 15
    Landscaping 0-10 10
    Interpretation 0-10 10
    87

    1. Great show! I love the concept. It hits a lot of really important areas.

    2. The attention to detail is fantastic. The cafe menu is wonderful, the exact planting, detailed signage, etc.

    3. First minor quibble. The write-up itself, in my opinion, should be broken up into smaller paragraphs for easier reading (English teacher quibble).

    4. Visitor layout/pathways. Here is the biggest issue for me. I don't see a clear visitor pathway through the exhibit. It's hard to judge how the flow if the exhibit will be.

    5. It's hard to judge the overall size of the exhibit. With the largest enclosure being ~3 acres, I think you're fine in your size limits, but without doing complex math (ok, not really complex, but time consuming) I can't get an overall feel for the true size).

    6. Outdoor holding for animals. For your larger animals, you need to have some form of outdoor holding yards, especially your hoofstock.

    7. The massive amounts of rockwork will skyrocket the cost. Simple fencing hidden by protected vegetation would probably do the job far better, be cheaper, and look more natural.

    Overall, we have a new leader!
     
  13. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is my entry.
    This was a really fun project. I hope there are more in the future.
    FG
     

    Attached Files:

  14. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Design 0-20 15
    Write-up 0-20 18
    Animal Needs 0-20 15
    Visitor Needs 0-20 12
    Landscaping 0-10 0]2
    Interpretation 0-10 2
    64

    1. Nice concept and good species choices.

    2. You complain in your write up about not being able to have other species within the parameters, but there are plenty of ways to fix this.

    3. You have 3 off-exhibit bird houses for only a small number of birds. One housing attached to the aviary is more than enough.

    4. Having an off exhibit space of 1/3 of an acre for a single clouded leopard is a huge waste of space. That is an average size for an on-show lion exhibit. For off show housing of a species like that, 1,000-1,500 sq. ft. is more than enough.

    5. Golden Monkeys. This is a big IF. If you were able to get some from China, you would probably only get 3-4. You've designed an exhibit to hold 30-40. 1.3 acres for a single monkey species is exorbitant. If you only have 3-4 animals, the visitors will never see them. Something along the lines of 4,000-5,000 sq. ft. is more than enough.

    6. Dhole exhibit is probably too large for what is essentially a fox-sized animal. Unless you have a huge pack, the animals will get lost and the visitors will never see them (very secretive species). Also, viewing though chainlink fence, in a modern exhibit, is a no-no. Visitors don't want to see the barrier.

    7. With removal of some of the redundant spaces, you now have room for almost all of your other species - save elephants.

    8. Landscaping. You have virtually none. There is no greed space in you exhibit. Green space is breathing room. You've only given a few references to trees in the write-up.

    9. For the visitor, there is no interaction, no engagement: just a single winding path.

    Overall - 64/100
     
  15. longleat diego

    longleat diego Well-Known Member

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    What programme did you use for the map?
     
  16. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had time to really read the various entries but I did take a look at this latest one. May I make a few observations?

    We don't know where North is or where the zoo is, so there may be places where the only view of an animal is looking into the sun. Always a consideration.

    I like the way you saved the primates for the end of the visit. They would be perhaps the most popular and it's a great ending.

    The dhole exhibit requires a lengthy walk around a wooded pasture with nothing else to engage visitors. The trees were located in the center to offer shade and block cross views, which is great, but if the dhole settle in the center then no one will really see them on their long long walk. Shade should be located (for the most part) to bring animals where they can be seen. There is plenty of space for the animals to get away from visitors when they wish.

    Visitors enter the walk-thru aviary right beside the holding building. It would be better to pull the entrance away so the building is not the thing dominating their view. Let the visitors enter your forest and look for birds.

    The long straight visitor paths will encourage people to rush along to get to the next sight. As our esteemed Moderator and Judge stated, the visitor experience would be improved by meandering the paths, allowing for sitting areas . Also, one function of landscaping is to connect the animals to the ecosystem they come from. Often we can only grasp why they have the colorations they have, or the behaviors, or physiology by understanding the ecosystem that produced them. You can rarely pull this off inside the enclosure, so it is in the visitor area that you have the chance to provide that context.

    So while I do like what you've done, I suggest that you think a bit about the visitors and their day out. Give them someplace to rest. Give them some shade. If you are taking them for a stroll around an acre enclosure do it for a good reason and vary the experience.

    Looking forward to your next effort.
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2015
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    just wondering, are you marking down for giving more space to animals because you think a certain amount is "more than enough", and because you personally don't think a fence is a good barrier "in a modern exhibit"?
     
  18. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks very much for your thoughts Zooplantman, they were very instructive and made me reconsider some fundamentals of the design, especially with regards to positioning of all the elements.
    The pathways I didn't really do any design work on due to my own time constraints. Definitely a weakpoint.
    I had intended to add a compass to the map with north being the top, but sadly forgot.
    Lots to improve on next time!

    longleat diego: I built the map in Sketchup, but unlike the other contestants I kept it 2D. The labels I actually added later in Paint!

    jbnbsn99: Thanks for the feedback. Definitely don't want to quibble, but one thing you said surprised me; in my experience (at Howletts) dholes are actually really showy, if not always active. Anyone else agree or disagree?
     
  19. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    It often depends on the individuals in the pack, the number and age of youngsters, and the time of day you visit, so when designing it makes sense to think about a less active group because some day your zoo may have just a few mature individuals or the summer will be hot or..... and the visitors need not walk around looking for animals asleep behind a tree. It's fine to see sleeping animals at a distance, but not as fine for visitors to walk around an enclosure that size asking "Is there anything in there?"
     
  20. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    It's about a balance between how much space the animal needs versus how visible the species will be. If the animal cannot be seen, then the exhibit doesn't work.

    As for viewing through chain-link, it's not something done in modern exhibitry. Barriers should be kept to a visual minimum. For a back barrier, chain-link is fine, but not to view the animals through.