The Secret of the Zoo Exposed

M.Arch thesis at Rice School of Architecture. Advisor: Jesús Vassallo

The zoo has always been an institution that simultaneously functions as a garden of escape and a miniature city. Starting off with this observation, the thesis investigates the zoo’s urban and architectural implications and proposes an urban model that works with nature in a seamless manner. The project operates within various scales: the flexible urban system is further defined through a series of specific architectural interventions.

The thesis explores and exemplifies a way of working with nature through repetition, contrast, and proximity. The deliberate absence captured by the imagery could be interpreted both as before and after human occupation, since ruins always come with new beginnings. The juxtaposition of temporary structures and permanent landscape is thus, above all, a reminder of time.