Goettsch Partners renovate historic lion house in Chicago
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Goettsch Partners renovate historic lion house in Chicago

An immersive educational experience

Goettsch Partners

By Editorial Staff -

The historic lion house, at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo designed by architect Dwight Perkin in 1912 has been restored and extended by Goettsch Partners (GP). GP partnered with zoo exhibit specialists PJA. The collaboration resulted in an immersive educational facility that is home to four African lions, Canada lynx, red pandas and snow leopards.

 

Arts and Crafts structure

In 2005, the structure’s grand hall with a vaulted Guastavino tile ceiling decorative brickwork and terra-cotta ornament, lion mosaics earned it the Chicago Landmark designation. Now, the attraction has expanded opportunities for interior and exterior viewing.

Lion Loop

The new design also allows for viewing from the Lion Loop which is a recessed path guiding guests to the TAWANI Great Hall located at the habitat’s core. Guests on the loop can see the lions from every angle including from above through skylights.

Patrick Loughran, FAIA, PE, LEED AP, technical principal at GP

“The renovation and restoration work revitalizes one of Chicago’s historic architectural gems. New features and functionality allow the facility to better serve the needs of the zoo and visitors well into the future.”

Joachim Schuessler, design principal at GP

“A major goal shared by zoo leadership and the design team was to substantially improve the lion habitat, with a focus on the wellbeing of the animals. At the same time, our design greatly enriches the experience of visitors by eliminating visual barriers and creating a closer connection between humans and lions within the space.”

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Completed: 2021
Floor area: 54,000-square-foot
Architects: Goettsch Partners
Zoo Exhibit Specialists: PJA
Photos by: Tom Harris, courtesy Goettsch Partners

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