A new visitor experience for wildlife conservation of the 21st Century

Bristol Zoo Project
Bristol Zoo Project - Gorilla House exterior visitor approach

Part of a long-term vision to safeguard the future of Bristol Zoological Society, Bristol Zoo Project will become a new, modern conservation zoo with spacious facilities, growth in conservation breeding, research and education work and a ground-breaking, innovative visitor experience that reflects the fundamental role zoos have in global conservation endeavours.

Our masterplan co-locates and relocates facilities from its two sites - Bristol Zoo Gardens and Bristol Zoo Project, formerly Wild Place Project. It will formalise and bring together the zoo's myriad functions – research, veterinary medicine, conservation, education, site operations and visitor facilities, as well as adding world-class animal habitats as part of the new Central African Forest and Central African Savannah landscapes, which include a new home for the existing western lowland gorilla troop.

Key Information

Sector: Community , Science & Innovation, Masterplanning & Urban Design

Client: Bristol Zoological Society

Location: Bristol

Size: 7,700sqm

We’ve developed our animal species plan so that we can really focus our resources on animals that most need our help, and maximise the impact we make to the conservation of wildlife.

Brian Zimmerman, Director of Conservation and Science at Bristol Zoological Society

A world view of conservation

Bristol Zoo Project will be an immersive landscape-led zoological experience for visitors. The animals will have generously scaled spaces that will reflect their native environments alongside world-class animal management design standards.

In the first phase, around 80% of the species at Bristol Zoo Project will be linked to the Society’s conservation programmes around the world, like the Ankarafa Research Station in Madagascar. The Society’s target by 2035, its bicentenary year, is for 90% of species to be linked to its conservation work – with more species planned to arrive over the coming years.

Find out more about Bristol Zoological Society's plans for 'Saving Wildlife Together'.

Why is this animal here?

The zoo invites visitors on a nature quest. It equips them to slow down and use their senses, building a community of thoughtful and empathetic nature spotters. Visitors will be immersed in the landscape and will be encouraged to find the animals. They will need to explore and discover, experiencing the thrill of a chance encounter. It aims to encourage sustainable behaviours and perceptions, educating and connecting people with nature through a great day out.

From the Gorilla House within the Central African Forest habitat to a Conservation Campus for academics, students and naturalists, the buildings are simple and functional spaces for animals and people, that use minimal resources. They sit quietly within the immersive landscape of the zoo, each with the specific and individual facilities required by its human and animal users.


Image Credits
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios / Blackpoint / Grant Associates
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Interpretation Consultant
Landscape Architect
Grant Associates
Structural & Civil Engineer
Momentum Engineering
Services & Environmental Engineering
Hoare Lea
Quantity Surveyor
Gardiner & Theobald
Fire Consultant
Sustainability Consultant