Designed by ARK, a collaboration between Urban Initiatives, Ola Studios and Arterial Design, the Pride Lands project involved the design and documentation of an open-range lion enclosure for a pride of 13 lions at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
This 3.8-hectare precinct represented the first major change to the zoo circuit since its opening in 1977.
The precinct was re-imagined to create an atmosphere suggestive of the African Savannah environment whilst retaining harmony with its surrounding Australian bush setting and providing the lions with best-practice animal enrichment by embodying the conservation values that underpin contemporary zoos.
The design included the recreation of typical South African landscape features such as Kopjes, small rock hills of the Serengeti plains, wetlands, a feeding waterway and a large water moat designed to maximise the visitor experience which allows pedestrians undisturbed views of the lions. The design of the built environment referenced that of Masai villages.
Through the journey of this precinct, visitors are able to perceive the power of lions as an apex predator and better understand the relationship between humans and lions in the wild.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo. New South Wales
Lead Consultant - Landscape & Exhibit Design
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
ARK, Site Masterplanning Studio, Hanson Roberts