Vertical Zoo – Andy Zheng, Andrew Chardain, Patty Clayton, Rachele Louis, Angela Pasquale

Usually when you think about going to zoo you think about traveling to a sprawled out space where you will spend the day frolicking through the cages checking out the sweet monkeys and Lions.  However this Zooviary will tower as a symbol for the city of Buenos Aires, where the notions of what comprises a zoo is radically flipped.  The tower stands at the playful transition between the dense urban fabrics of the city and the wild side of nature.  Check it out after the jump!

SCHOOL: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
COMPETITION: ARQUITECTUM – Vertical Zoo, Buenos Aires
PROFESSORS: Christopher Sharples @ Coren Sharples of SHOP
STUDENTS: Andy Zheng, Andrew Chardain, Patty Clayton, Rachele Louis, Angela Pasquale
YEAR: 2009 

“The Zooviary will be the symbol of the city, for those arriving in Buenos Aires, understood as a new monument of growth and organic playfulness. The 110 meter zoo-tower located in a natural area pushed to the outermost edge of a dense urban fabric refers to the city’s context through use of the vertical type, while the articulation of the architecture relates the tower to the more organic growth systems of the ecological reserve.

The site of the project, an ecological reserve grown incidentally from a landfill of rubble removed from the city, presents a fascinating dichotomy between natural and artificial. It is the role of the zoo-as-landmark to mediate between the two contrasts. In this manner, the zoo must respond to its context as being two opposing systems of dynamic growth and inhabitation; the man-made grid of the city and the natural environment of Argentina. This idea of the building caught between the interplay of two opposing dynamic forces is culturally referential to the tango; particularly, to the continually changing void space created between the moving bodies of the dancers. The architecture embodies the spatial potential of this ever-shifting zone, where the tensions of the two opposing forces are played out.

The building is conceived of as two masses torque-ing upward, with a separation between the masses being the vertical atrium as aviary of the zoo. The aviary becomes the fluid void space, the space of dynamic negotiation between the two volumes. Its articulation is as a seam in the building, from which the greenery of the trees where birds roost spill forth, making their foliage visible throughout the entire height of the tower as a startling new expression of monument, both organic and memorably iconic.”

All Images and Text via

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