Register: APR/18/2017, Submit: APR/18/2018, Eligibility: Architects, architecture students, philosophers, sociologists, photographers, etc; individually, teams up to 4 members, Fee: 40 EUR JAN/15 – FEB/14/2018), 60 EUR (FEB/15 – MAR/14/2018), 80 EUR (MAR/15 – APR/18/2018); +21% VAT, Awards: 1st Prize 4,000 EUR, 2nd Prize 1,000 EUR, 3rd Prize 500 EUR, People’s Choice Award 200 EUR, 10 Honorable Mentions
Future of zoos will be decided in the next few years. We are facing radical changes in the concept. Over the decades we have been proved that animal captivity, in most cases in terrible conditions, has affected badly their quality of life and their expected lifetime. The raison d’être and the welfare of the more than 3.5 million animals that they contain around the world are increasingly questioned.
These places, emerged between the eighteenth and nineteenth century, deeply linked to colonialism and the discovery of new worlds, must evolve adapting to the new needs. The question is how to do so.
In Coexist: Rethinking Zoos architecture competition, Archstorming will analyze the path that zoos should take, focusing on the welfare and conservation of species over just tormenting animals in tiny cages.
THE EVOLUTION OF ZOOS
When humans began their expansion on the planet, they immediately discovered species that were far away from everything they could have ever imagined. The first remaining private collection of animals dates from the 3500 BC in Egypt. But it wasn’t until the private collection of Louis XIV, the Palace of Chantilly in Versailles, that we actually arrived at the development of a zoological garden. This garden, that had no educational nor scientific functions, was for the enjoyment of the French aristocracy and boast of power of the King of France.
One of the first zoos that coined this term in concept and functions was the Regent’s Park, in London, 1828. Here the animals already had their own cages and were divided into sections. From that moment on, zoos will start to be created all over the world.
It was not until 1970, when the movement for the rights of animals originated in Oxford, that zoos take a new step towards their evolution. A change of vision originates: animal rights are important. Until now, everything about zoos was directed and designed by and for humans. It was thanks to this change that the animals that lived there started to be the real protagonists.
Currently, we are entering a third phase. This phase will be highlighted by the rejection of the outdated zoo concept and a search for animal welfare over any exhibition to the human being.
A CHANGE OF DIRECTION
Over time, zoos mission has evolved, from being just collections of animals, a symbol of power and greatness of many empires, almost exclusively for the enjoyment of the population, to fulfill other objectives. This evolution goes hand in hand with a growing scientific interest and greater possibilities for research and study.
This growing respect for the animals around us means that more and more people are working to look after and maximize animal welfare. But what do we mean by animal welfare? One way to define it is by following the “Five Needs for Animal Welfare”:
- Be free from hunger and thirst: always have clean and fresh water available and a healthy and correct diet for different species, in adequate quantities.
- Be free of discomfort: they must have rest areas, privacy areas, shady / sunny areas, shelter for sleeping, etc.
- Be free of pain, injuries and illnesses: attention should be paid to prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behavior: housing animals in environments that are suitable for their species. The social group is also very important, especially in animals that live in communities.
- Free of fear and anguish: for which we must give them a correct and respectful treatment, a management always focused on positive reinforcement, rewarding behaviors that are good and always avoiding the physical and mental suffering of animals.
Archstorming is calling for proposals to create an infrastructure that rethinks the zoo concept and gives it a twist, this time thinking about animals and their conservation over the exhibition to humans.
The project is located in the current Zoo of Barcelona. Participants can choose the dimension of their project, always keeping in mind that it must be located within marked the area.
The Archstorming team encourages all contestants to demonstrate that there are other ways to build zoos nowadays. In their proposals, the contestants should work on the following topics:
- Educate: allowing animals to be observed in order to understand more about them as we can help their conservation.
- Investigate: study about the nutritional needs of animals, their reproductive cycles, their ethology, their possible diseases and cures.
- Contribute in the conservation of different species: thanks to the study of animals we know better what their needs are and how to attack the problems that affect them.
To achieve the objectives set, the following indicative program is proposed:
- Animals in their habitat areas
- Research area Veterinary Hospital
- Educational and interactive museum
- Multi-purpose spaces
- Services for visitors (Restaurant, bathrooms, lockers …)
- Public space interventions
The animal species that will be located in the zoo, as well as their distribution, will be at the discretion of the participant. In the same way, the reuse or elimination of the current infrastructures of the Barcelona Zoo will also be optional. The provision of services and facilities that we propose for the zoo is orientative and is open to any modification by the participants.