Intro are proud to announce the recent completion of the Monarto Safari Park Visitor Centre Project with client Zoos South Australia and contractor Mossop Construction. This world class facility is the gateway to the Monarto Safari Park, offering a revitalised entry experience to the world’s largest open range zoo and soon to be completed Wild Africa Tourism Accommodation.
The visitor centre, designed in conjunction with Studio-Gram – includes a café, retail shop, seminar facilities, exhibition areas, nature play spaces and associated car and bus parking to accommodate the 160,000 local, national, and international visitors annually.
The project started as a design competition in 2018 – the successful Intro / Studio-Gram team delivered a concept which was derived from two key influences: the first being a celebration of Ngarrindjeri land, with the second being a message of conservation and education about the protection of our endangered species.
The built form is subsequently divided into two distinct ‘curved ribbon’ elements. These converging elements represent the intertwining of Aboriginal and African Cultures and their inherent connection with their land, plants and animals. The construction of these elements is varied, one is heavy with the use of rammed earth walls, the other is light, using corten steel construction and cladding each providing a distinct identity. The iconic, yet implicit expression of the forms invite engagement, interpretation and discussion by visitors. The two forms wrap a central outdoor ‘heart’ space which provides a sheltered zone to watch zoos exhibitions, meet with friends and family, and to gather before venturing into the zoo.
An amphitheatre space and lookout to the south side of the building provides unobstructed views and the setting for performances, events, education, contemplation, and play.
Corten steel is featured prominently throughout the design, which will organically evolve its appearance over time forming a unique patina as it weathers. This intertwines with the soft textural qualities of the rammed earth walls, which both provide sustainability benefits, and a low maintenance, evolving aesthetic through time.
The projects simple material palette was designed to fit organically within its environment, resulting in an unobtrusive built form nestled within the landscape.
The Intro team would like to thank Zoos SA for providing us the opportunity to deliver this unique offering for visitors, volunteers and staff of the Monarto Zoo Safari Park.