Studio BAD have delivered concept designs for Marwell Zoological Park, a leading tourist attraction in the heart of Hampshire, to upgrade the existing Rhino House and deliver a new café and play area for visitors to enjoy. The work looks to reimagine the existing structure, to create a new café destination with a design that maximises the views and visual interaction of the animals for the visitors.

Currently the two existing Rhino House buildings are tired, uninviting structures that were originally designed as building for the animals to use. As the configuration of the park has changed, these buildings are no longer needed by the Rhino’s and there is a hope to reuse the structure to create a new destination, perfectly located within the park to fill the gap between the current café and the main exit.

The design concept reuses the main structure of the buildings, to cut down unnecessary waste whilst also reducing the timescales needed for building work within this sensitive area. The existing roofs will be replaced with stunning butterfly roofs, echoed across each unit. The generous roof overhang of the main unit creates an effective covered outdoor seating area; internally the design increases the capacity of the cafe by creating a mezzanine area, with large glazing introduced to enjoy enhanced views across the wildlife enclosure. The improved internal space is designed to creates flexibility over the future uses of the Rhino House; it can be used as an informal café space, or could be easily adapted for private functions such as business meetings or weddings.

The secondary, smaller structure, is envisioned as an interactive indoor children’s play area, to work in harmony with the café, creating a vibrant destination within Marwell Zoo.

Practice : Studio: B.A.D Architects

Time Scale: October 2022 – Ongoing

Budget: Undisclosed

Location: Colden Common, Hampshire

Client: Marwell Wildlife