Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Primorskiy’s new Zoological Park in Saint-Petersburg , Russia by Beckmann N’Thépé
April 30th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Founded in 1865 Saint-Petersburg zoo is the oldest zoological park of Russia. As most of other parks across Russia, it suffers today from a cruel lack of space, being located in the heart of the historical town center. The city has hence decided to create a new zoo, which will range over 300 hectares, on the town’s outskirts, escaping this way the high population density of the urban area. The project preserves a large strech of land, and implements an environmentally beneficial approach.
Thousands and thousands of years ago, the surface of the earth was but one and only supercontinent, known as the Pangea. Subject to tectonic forces, the Paleolithic Pangea over time broke into splinters, which slowly organised themselves in a configuration that, although always prone to movements, we still are familiar with. Ecosystems, once linked with each others, are today kept apart by oceans and seas. Species of the same origin have followed a distinct path on each separated continent.
The project offers a symbolic sample of every continent in an attempt to recreate the illusion of a reunited Pangea within the very zoological park of Saint-Petersburg. The archipelago therefore created will be made of islands representing South East Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, North America and Eurasia, the two latter being linked with each other by the pack ice of the Arctic Pole. The chosen site enjoys a profuse water supply, and hence is particularly fitted for such an insular organization of the various environments.
Nowadays the environment requirements and the green consciousness of the public are increasingly considered a core issue. The very background of a zoological park itself induces a mandatory respect of those values. Harshly criticized for a long time, zoological parks are today considered major stakeholders of biodiversty preservation. Even though it is an artificially recreated leisure area, the Primorskiy Park is above all an educational tool allowing each and everyone of us to better grasp our own history, and also a research center helping to preserve our Earth. So much goals were aimed both by architects and landscape designers of this project who managed to convince and share their ambitions.
Françoise N’Thépé / Aldric Beckmann : Beckmann N’Thépé sarl d’Architecture
Winners of the 2001 Albums des Jeunes Architectes et Paysagistes (Young Architects and Landscape Designers Books) and co-founders of the Beckmann-N’Thépé agency in 2002, they advocate eclecticism. From the public housing Masséna (Paris XIII) to the 120 000 Euros design of a private house they make light of any scale concept, building their uniqueness. Already partners of TN Plus, they win the 2007 competition for the renovation of the Vincennes zoo, then in 2008 the project for the Helsinski zoological park.
Bruno Tanant / Jean Christophe Nani : TN Plus Paysagistes Associés
The TN Plus agency was born in 2002 from the encounter of Bruno Tanant and Jean – Christophe Nani. TN Plus is dedicated to convey to the largest number, through their projects, an environmental awareness. From urban studies to public areas, from gardens to zoological parks the work of the agency relies on the desire to deal with new premises getting rid of their on limits and opening to the world. After managing the reorganisation of the zoos of Chizé (France), Wuhan (China) and Rabat (Morrocco); TN Plus now collaborate with Beckman N’Thépé and has won the competition for the zoos of Vincennes, Helsinski and Saint-Petersburg.
Contact Beckmann N'Thépé
Category: Zoological Park