Zoo Design at Fasanerie Wiesbaden
A ZooLex workshop on 10 and 11 March 2004
by Monika Fiby
on behalf of the ZooLex Zoo Design Organization
The Animal and Plant Park
The Fasanerie Wiesbaden originally was a pheasants hunting park in the 18th century. In the 20th century the city of Wiesbaden bought the place and created an Animal and Plant Park for native wildlife. Today, a staff of 10 to 15 looks after about 56 animal species and a park of 25 hectars. Entrance to the park is free. Visitors are estimated to be about 250,000 a year.
The park's administration building provides excellent facilities for holding workshops. A restaurant is next door and both buildings are close to the entrance. The city, the park and nearby hotels are connected by a public bus line.
Design tasks are at hand. The layout of pathways dates back to the 70s. Most of the park is mature forest and the area close to the entrance features some spectacular exotic trees. Exhibits in general are simple, functional, and generously placed around the park. The types of design tasks we chose for the workshop can be found in larger or smaller institutions alike.
Ute Kilian, the manager of the facility, was among the first participants attending a ZooLex Workshop. She was so pleased with the outcome that she had offered to host an upcoming workshop. It turned out that Fasanerie Wiesbaden is a perfect place for holding ZooLex Workshops.
Four of the participants attending the design workshop in Wiesbaden had attended other ZooLex Workshops before.
On Wednesday morning the workshop started with a presentation of the park by Ute Kilian and an introduction to zoo design by Monika Fiby. After a break, Ute Kilian gave the group a tour of the park. It was cold and slightly snowing all day. We therefore split the tour into a longer part before and a shorter part after lunch. After the tour, another presentation was given by Monika Fiby. In the afternoon two groups worked on two different design tasks. The analysis of the design task required another walk in the snow. After dinner Monika Fiby showed design examples from various zoos to entice discussion.
The next day was dedicated to the design work in groups. After the morning break both groups presented their concepts. The discussion on these concepts and an evaluation of the workshop ended at noon and so did the workshop.