Tradition and innovation are the two cornerstones for the reconstruction concept of the famous Polar See Panorama, at Hagenbeck’s Zoological Gardens in Hamburg. The conservation listed, but dilapidated enclosure has been replaced by a new construction on the same site. Besides the optimisation of structural and functional procedures behind the scenes, and the exceedance of the strictest EU guidelines for the humane enclosure of wild animals, the goal of the project is to provide a spectacular environment in which to bring the visitor closer to the beauty and fascination of habitats found at the North and South Poles.

The idea, of an expedition through the diverse biospheres of many Arctic and Antarctic inhabitants, leads the visitor through an array of newly designed enclosures, whose sequence is determined by their historical basis. The new structure, neatly integrated into the zoo’s circuit, now enable impressive, weather protected views into elaborately designed above surface, underwater and outdoor areas in the ‘belly’ of the structure.

The habitats have been considerately undertaken to portray the North and South Pole, to both visitors and inhabitants, as accurately as possible. Technical innovations such as a carbon dioxide neutral geothermal cooling system have been made possible through close cooperation with competent project partners like Hamburgwasser (Hamburg Water). Finely detailed rock formations, representative of typical Arctic and Antarctic landscapes, provide geologically correct backgrounds for the colonies of Humboldt and King penguins, seals, polar bears and marine birdlife. Understandably, all visitor areas have been designed as disabled accessible and an innovative information concept offers visitors, interested in more than just an impressive animal world experience, background information on themes such as Zoology, Biology and Ecology.

Related Projects