Foster + Partners turns London Zoo’s grade II-listed aviary into a monkey house

Foster + Partners’ redesign of the Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo has received planning approval from Westminster council.

The grade II-listed structure, designed by Cedric Price with Frank Newby and Lord Snowdon in 1962, was the first aviary in Britain that gave visitors a "walk-through" experience.

The new design adapts the heritage structure to suit its new inhabitants: a troop of colobus monkeys and parrots. It replicates their natural habitat with a series of vertical elements at different heights that the monkeys can climb onto.

The proposal also has an education and community space for zoo visitors. Hosting up to 30 people, the indoor space will allow school groups to learn more about the colobus monkeys, their habitat and conservation, as well as the architectural legacy of the zoo.

Norman Foster, Foster + Partners’ founder, said: "The rebirth of the Snowdon Aviary is about the fusion of the old and new, but also about repurposing this extraordinary structure.

"The brand-new walk-though home will allow it to extend its role for decades to come. It will ensure the preservation of an iconic structure and honour its distinguished authors from the past, while preserving a unique built example of Cedric Price’s work."

Work on the £2.5m project is due to begin in January 2018 and open to the public in summer 2019.

Images courtesy of Foster + Partners

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