TITLE

Mensch-Tier-Beziehungen

AUTHOR(S)
Kirchengast, Albert
PUB. DATE
January 2009
SOURCE
werk, bauen + wohnen;Jan2009, Issue 1/2, p28
SOURCE TYPE
Trade Publication
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The "zoo as a building commission" is based on a shifting view of nature. This view is manifested indirectly in menageries from earlier cultures, the Zwinger in Baroque palace complexes but also in modern biotope enclosures. These reflect a yearning for the exotic, the unknown, the drive to advance scientific research and the wish to use leisure time in a lively way. Consequently contemporary zoological gardens tread a fine line between, on the one side, keeping wild animals in a kind of biotope and, on the other, visitors' wishes to see inside the enclosures or to interact with the animals. Against the background of the global ecological crisis zoos are acquiring a new potential justification for their existence as the last refuge for species threatened with extinction and for destroyed areas of nature. Using convincing simulation the intention behind contemporary zoo design is to transfer the impression of intact natural habitats to the animal enclosures. In the early 20th century Carl Hagenbeck, regarded as the founder of the modern zoo, practiced this kind of presentation that makes an appeal to the senses. For the architect the design task involves difficult coordination work that must include both the experience of the animal keepers and a look at the past that is of only limited use. But while the wild animals may feel "at home" and mark their territory, for the critical visitor to the zoo the obscured boundaries still remain in existence: perhaps the "natural" becomes more artificial the more "natural" it is intended to seem. A look at concrete examples of recent zoo architecture makes this clear.
ACCESSION #
39763976

 

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