Snowdon Aviary, London Zoo
When it opened in 1965 it was Britain’s first walk-through aviary. The iconic design, which is a prominent feature on the Regent’s Canal and from Primrose Hill, was inspired by the graceful movements of birds.
In November 2016, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) announced that Foster + Partners are to overhaul the aviary, transforming it into a walk-through primate enclosure. This work will remove the aviary from Historic England’s At Risk Register.
Earlier in 2016, ZSL secured the first stage of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for the initial research and planning phase for modernising the aviary. The total cost of the project is estimated at £7.1 million, and ZSL is offering a range of sponsorship opportunities to enable the build.
ZSL’s Zoological Director, Professor David Field said:
“We’re thrilled to have appointed Foster + Partners to work on the landmark Snowdon Aviary. It’s fitting that a structure with such a unique history should be given new life by a world-class firm with such a strong heritage. Our most ambitious project to date, the new Aviary will reflect our decades of animal expertise and delivering innovative visitor experiences.”
Norman Foster, Chairman and Founder, Foster + Partners said:
“We are honoured and delighted to be working on the redevelopment of the Snowdon Aviary – a rare example of a completed work by Cedric Price. I also have a particular personal affection for it as it shows most strongly the influence of our mutual friend and mentor Buckminster Fuller.
“The redevelopment of the Aviary is a unique opportunity to preserve this exceptional structure and the legacy of pioneering architecture at ZSL London Zoo. It will be a great privilege to be able to contribute to the tradition of contemporary architectural additions at one of London’s most cherished institutions.”
(Images © Daniel Sprawson)
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