Architecture

Hummingbird and Komodo Dragon Habitats at the San Diego Zoo

Where can you see the world’s largest lizards next to the world’s smallest birds? The San Diego Zoo of course! The recently completed Kenneth C. Griffin Komodo Kingdom and William E. Cole Hummingbird Habitat are the two newest habitats at the San Diego Zoo.  These two organic structures were designed specifically for the species they are home to.

The new 2,700 square foot Komodo Kingdom features a beautiful, shaded courtyard that flows into three new wildlife areas.  Themed rockwork and indigenous plants create environments that represent the various biomes of the komodo’s native island in Indonesia: the beach, the forests, and the mountains.  ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) roof and wall panels provide abundant natural lighting for the interior spaces while still allowing UV light to pass through, promoting the health of the animals.  See them lounging on the large rocks and sculpted logs, which were specifically designed to both optimize their comfort and maximize viewing for guests.  Make sure you find the best spot, a small tunnel, carved into the rockwork, allowing face-to-face interaction for the komodos and children!

Further down the pathway you will find the new, 3,800 square foot Hummingbird Habitat, a walk-through experience that more than doubles the former wildlife area. Like Komodo, this area utilizes ETFE roof and wall panels to fill the space with natural and UV light, nurturing the health of the birds and plants within.  In addition, adjustable screen walls allow natural ventilation to flow through the habitat while maintaining desired temperatures.   All designed around a central, sunken “cenote”, this new ecosystem incorporates water, plant life and birds in a harmonious way and creates one of the most serene spaces within the Zoo.

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  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego

    Project Owner/Developer:

    San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Vanessa Nevers AIA, E. vnevers@sdzwa.org C. 206-618-7040

    Project Architect/Designer:

    San Diego Zoo/ ARCHITECTS hanna gabriel wells/ Deneen Powell Atelier/ Neri Landscape Architecture

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