Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct by Hassell won the National Commendation for Urban Design at the AIA's 2010 National Architecture Awards.
The re-imagining of the front door of the Adelaide Zoo as an integrated entrance precinct employs an urban design strategy that inverts the figure ground diagram of the zoo’s arrival sequence and breaks down barriers between the zoo and the city. The completion of this work coincides with the arrival of giant pandas Wang Wang and Funi and is part of a suite of new and upgraded projects.
These projects articulate a new vision for the zoo championed by CEO Dr Chris West. The big, and most successful, urban design move here is to place a large arrival forecourt outside the zoo proper. This is a generous gesture, physically and metaphorically. In a physical sense, it creates a public forecourt that is knitted into the fabric of open public spaces adjacent to the zoo and sets up new pedestrian links with the city centre. Metaphorically, it significantly re-positions the zoo as a public institution in the city, presenting opportunities to interact with this public institution without paying the price of admission.
– Jury citation