Möbius Zoo

(Landscape-) Architecture, Projects, University assignments

In late August 2016 I got the assignment to design a 16 hectare (40 acre) zoo. This zoo was going to be situated near the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

The client asked for an innovative zoo that stand out of the other ones situated in the Netherlands. I thought, why only Netherlands? Always shoot big and for the zoo it means, go for international fame! With that in mind I designed a zoo which contains a stylized landscape.





From L to R: Mass and Space, Parcels and conclusion


The conclusion is that there are many of big spaces in the area and the parcels are mostly straight lines. The forest where the zoo is situated is a barrier between the east and west.



Concept: The Mobius band.

The concept for the zoo is the Mobius band. When you make the band from paper and cut it twice in the lenght, it creates four bands that interlock in the centre. For the Zoo this is a interesting shape. When the shape is translated into a pathway it creates a circuit and clear path.


The designs reaction on the surrounding landscape can be broken down into three scales. In the biggest scale the zoo compliments the size of the existing forrest, by joining it because of its size.  In the middle its a bit more open, so people can peek into the landscape. The second reaction is on the straight lines that were concluded in the parcelmap. The addition of curves gives the zoo something extra that the surrounding does not have. On the last level the straight lines and curves are also implemented, but every zone has its own characteristics.

From L to R: Exploded exploded axon, heightmap, functions





Crossing points


Height and crosspoints

Abstract principle sections


Shape study

From L to R the zones with their corresponding shapes: Desert, Land, Tropics and Dunes



These images showed the reference and the way they are applied in a styled way.


Detailed plan of the tropics (1:500)



Visual of the open tropics area with view on the dutch Mangrove forest


Vegetation in and around the forest

The middle section of the forest is being thinned out so it connects more with the surrounding landscape. This can be seen in the left picture. In the right picture you can see the difference of vegetation being used in the stroke surrounding the zones. Where the dike is higher more trees are planted. This closes off the zoo for the visitors and points the attention towards the zoo instead of away. The stroke uses the same vegetation as the forest, so it creates a even image while looking from the outside.


Pacing of intensity

When mapping and applying pacing of blockbuster movies there is a buildup to the climax which is situated in the tropics. The first key event shows a high action at the entrance. Here are people made excited for the rest of the zoo. While heading to the second key event people get briefed about the zoo and when arriving there is a other event. At the second key event is a big stair and people get a overview of the land zone. While crossing the bridge you get prepared by the third event. Its also know as the preparation to the climax.The final key event shows a dutch mangrove forest with a lot of water and height differences. At the dune zone the intensity rapidly decreases and the experience comes to an end.


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