Client: ZOO Leipzig GmbH / Location: Leipzig / GFA: 16,500 m² + 27,500 m² / Completion: 2004 + 2011 / Competition: 1st prize 2002 / Awards: City of Leipzig Architecture Prize 2005, Renault Traffic Design Award 2004, Acknowledgement - BDA Architecture Prize awarded by the Saxony branch of the German Association of Architects
With around 1.3 million visitors per year, Leipzig Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in Germany. In 2002, a competition was held for a car park concept that was both economically and architecturally sophisticated to ensure that sufficient parking space was available for zoo visitors. In the three-day workshop on the multi-storey car park at Leipzig Zoo, the theme "shell" was chosen as the central design motif. The concept was to create a cohesive unit with the neighbouring zoo premises.
Bamboo was chosen as a façade material, which refers on the one hand to the exotic world of the theme park and on the other hand adds a soft and tactile appearance to the functional building. It is the central motif both of the original multi-storey car park at Leipzig Zoo and of its extension.
Through the use of this exotic material, bamboo, the sober, purpose-built multi-storey car park and the zoo are connected both visibly and tangibly.
In order to meet the increased car parking requirements arising from the addition of the new Gondwanaland tropical hall and the extended conference hall, the multi-storey car park, which was completed in 2004, was extended to the north with the addition of an independent building in 2011. Together, the two car parks can now accommodate 1,336 passenger vehicles.
The spacious open garage was built using a steel skeleton construction. Several thousand of the storey-high, 10-centimetre thick stalks of this fast-growing bamboo were mounted in rowy with even axial spacing. A symmetrical 5 m grid with end fields and transition segments to the spindles enabled a high degree of prefabrication resulting in the desired short construction and assembly time.
The façades also have corridors similar to the separate central corridor. They allow visitors to move along the exotic bamboo façade towards the zoo entrance, or to let the zoo experience fade away along this façade. Physical contact with the material is both possible and encouraged.
In contrast to the existing first building, the separate extension has a distinctive wave-like appearance on both sides of the façade. Common to both multi-storey car parks is the continuous and distinctive use of this exotic bamboo façade material. In addition to its purely decorative properties, the façade covers important structural elements and at the same time functions as a railing and protection against falls.
In addition to its contextual relevance, the
the bamboo shell provides ventilation and
natural light to the building.