The Kansas City Zoo commissioned IAA to develop an animal holding facility able to accommodate a variety of African species, ranging from birds to giraffes. The building and its surrounding landscape and enclosures needed to generate minimal disturbance to the densely wooded site. Furthermore, establishing efficient operational workflow patterns, a safe environment for the animals and a secure area for keepers were major priorities.
IAA was inspired by the site. Our team sought to create a building with rural vernacular influences relying on native materials and forms. Pitched corrugated steel roofs, concrete block walls and wood accents allude to farm technology and barn structures. Though the facility virtually disappears into the landscape from public view, once revealed, it makes a bold architectural statement.