Animal Pathways signage

Zoo Atlanta Redevelopment Proposal

The Zoo Atlanta Redevelopment proposal is a personal project that was never implemented. A major element of the proposed redevelopment is a simplified overall layout for the Zoo. Zoo Atlanta has outgrown itself and now faces guest navigation problems. Guests are forced to think about the design of the environment rather than just moving from place to place and enjoying the zoo.

By moving the entry point from the Northern edge of the zoo (shown on the bottom edge of the park on Zoo Atlanta maps) to a controlled path leading from the West directly into the center of the park towards a central plaza, navigation concerns are addressed.

The proposed layout, much simpler than the current one, is based on a path that offers guests things to do while keeping them focused on moving forward into the zoo. Creating a single path that controls sight lines and guides foot traffic towards a central hub allows the zoo to unfold in a much more organized fashion as visitors can be gradually introduced to the experience. The walkway leading towards the center of the zoo becomes a preshow, gradually getting guests ready for the day. Without the need to make major decisions, guests can move forward gradually, becoming acclimated to their environment so they can delay decision making until they are both mentally ready and are in the best physical place to do so.

Once a guest has moved into the center of the park, navigation becomes much easier. This new layout creates a central hub that directly serves the three "big-ticket" attractions — elephants, gorillas, and pandas.

Simplified layout with statue placement Simplified layout

Orienting the guest experience in this way allows for a much more organized traffic flow and creates a natural symmetry. The zoo would have equal space for dining and exhibits with a natural hub in the center where guests could get their bearings. Once a guest has moved into the center of the park, navigation becomes much easier.

Simplified layout

The path leading up to the central plaza would act as excellent touch points, a place for petting zoo animals, exotics and others suited for up close viewing. It could also be a place where kids and adults alike could play together, experiencing what it is like to have the hearing of a fox or the eyesight of an eagle, as well as a place to engage with the park in new ways using mobile devices.

Animal Pathways sketch

Everything at the newly updated zoo would center on the elephants, gorillas and pandas as these exhibits are the zoo's main draw. In addition to a redesigned logo featuring these three attractions, there would be statues to serve as non-verbal signage. Strategically placing these statues off the central plaza while utilizing a gradual theming change will direct guests to their desired location, making it clear what a guest can find in each of the three directions they can proceed.

Proposed Zoo Atlanta Logo

The central plaza area would feature a massive treehouse situated on an elevated portion of the zoo's topography. This would not only provide a central reference point for ease of navigation throught the zoo, but would create a new play space for families.

Central Plaza Treehouse
Treehouse sketches