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Foster + Partners has been appointed to redevelop the iconic Snowdon Aviary at ZSL London Zoo. The Grade II* listed structure, designed by Cedric Price with Frank Newby and Lord Snowdon in 1962, was the first aviary in Britain that offered visitors a ‘walk-through’ experience, bringing them closer to the birds in their natural habitat. The structure will now be modernised and upgraded to provide a brand new walk-through home for the Zoo’s troop of colobus monkeys.
ZSL London Zoo is an unusual microcosm of British architectural history. Since its earliest days, it has been a proud patron to many leading architects, and is today home to many notable works of architecture. Decimus Burton, who designed the Clock Tower and Giraffe House in the mid-1800s; Tecton, who were responsible for the Grade I listed Penguin Pool and Round House gorilla enclosure in the 1960s; Sir Hugh Casson and Neville Condor, architects of the Elephant House during the same period; have all contributed to this extraordinary collection of pioneering structures at the Zoo.
Earlier this year, ZSL secured the first stage of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conduct the research and planning phase of the Snowdon Aviary renovation project.
Norman Foster, Chairman and Founder, Foster + Partners:
We are honoured and delighted to be working on the redevelopment of the Snowdon Aviary – a rare example of a completed work by Cedric Price. I also have a particular personal affection for it as it shows most strongly the influence of our mutual friend and mentor Buckminster Fuller. The redevelopment of the aviary is a unique opportunity to preserve this exceptional structure and the legacy of pioneering architecture at ZSL London Zoo. It will be a great privilege to be able to contribute to the tradition of contemporary architectural additions at one of London’s most cherished institutions.