In the fall of 2007, erstad ARCHITECTS was selected to develop the conceptual master plan of Zoo Boise’s new African Adventure expansion into detailed construction documents and provide all coordination between the engineering consultants and Boise City Planning & Development Services. Several changes were made that deviated from the conceptual plan to take into consideration actual site amenities, and to incorporate advice from an African Ranger Consultant.
This project was not only unique in the types of animals that would be housed in the African Adventure portion of the Zoo, but it also required a true collaboration between the Zookeepers, Staff, Metal Fabricators who were building the cage work, and Boise City Inspectors – and even incorporated final theatrical touches installed by the BSU Art Department. Every choice was made with the intent of keeping not only the animals safe and happy, but staff and visitors also.
At times, the African Adventure project was challenging, in part due to the extent to which erstad ARCHITECTS had to work traditional materials in non-traditional ways. Items like lion-viewing glass require determining the strength of the glass as it relates to a lion’s weight. Even seemingly straightforward details such as log poles used for 18 foot high fences and wire fencing connections required understanding each component individually and as a completed system.
The African Adventure project is truly on of those “once in a lifetime” projects that will live in the Boise community for years to come.