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DENVER ZOO MASTER PLAN

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MASTER PLAN PROJECTS

FACILITY ASSESSMENT

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

SITE PLANNING STRATEGIES

Why a facility master plan?

This Master Plan serves as a roadmap to our destination to fulfill the needs of our animals, our communities and our world-wide partners to achieve our mission. It is comprehensive, yet contains the latitude to modify our approach based on changing circumstances and challenges. 

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Denver Zoo is dynamic. Serving nearly 2 million guests per year and caring for 3,000 animals is quite the operation. Denver Zoo’s campus houses nearly 100 city buildings, some dating back more than 100 years. Learn more below about our campus, our philosophy that guides this plan, and the site planning strategies designed to continue to provide the best animal care possible and connect our guests to wild animals and wild places.

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MASTER PLAN PROJECTS

Explore each project below. The narratives paint a picture of what the exhibit areas may feel like, what the animal collection may be, and what guests might experience while there.

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FACILITY ASSESSMENT

From 2010 - 2012, Denver Zoo’s Planning Department performed a Facility Assessment to document and gain a campus-wide understanding of the state of the facility. This process and the information gathered created a basis of understanding for the master planning process.  Denver Zoo has several old and failing buildings and utilities that must be replaced.

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GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Through this Master Plan our objective is to achieve the zoo’s mission, and to maintain and build upon Denver Zoo’s reputation as the top cultural institution in Colorado and as one of the premier zoos in the world. Through thoughtful facility planning, innovative education, and immersive experiences, we aim to showcase our leadership in animal care, conservation, education, visitor experience, and sustainability while being a good neighbor and serving our community.

This plan is contemplated using the following guiding principles with the emphasis on finding the dynamic balance of these ideas working in concert.

  • Animal Conservation
  • Animal Care
  • Veterinary Science
  • Community
  • Guest Experience
  • Securing Our Future
  • Education
  • Sustainability

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SITE PLANNING STRATEGIES

Guided by the Mission, Strategic Imperatives and the Guiding Principles, site planning strategies were developed through a collaboration between the design team and zoo staff. These strategies create a framework for design decisions.

The strategies are as follows:

  • Zoo as a Classroom
  • Guest Experience Hubs
  • Flow
  • Clustering: Grouping Similar Functions for Efficiencies
  • Zoo/Community Interface
  • Animal Care & Exhibits
  • Campus Ecology 

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