Last edited 11 Nov 2020

Snowdon Aviary, London Zoo

Snowdon Aviary (c) Daniel SprawsonZSL (1).JPG

Snowdon Aviary is a Grade II listed structure in London Zoo. It was conceived by Lord Snowdon, designed by Cedric Price, Frank Newby, and Antony Armstrong-Jones, and built in 1964.

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.

In September 2017, it was announced that Westminster Council had given their go-ahead for the project.

Snowdon Aviary (c) Daniel SprawsonZSL (7).JPG

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:

“ZSL London Zoo has a long history of leading the way in architecture and design and has many listed buildings that have stood the test of time.

“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.”

To donate and keep up to date with the project, visit ZSL.

Snowdon Aviary (c) Daniel SprawsonZSL (9).jpg

(Images © Daniel Sprawson)

In March 2019, £7m plans to revamp the Aviary went out to tender.

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