A Modernisation Model

architects Miroslav Lazić, OPA, POPARH - Popularna arhitektura, Studio Arhing
project The Modernisation of the Zagreb Zoo - the First Phase, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Frano Petar Zovko


The Zagreb ZOO has reflected modernisation and urbanisation impulses of the city since its beginnings. Opened in 1925 as a peripheral variant of the exotic sights in the Western European capitals (its first inhabitants were three foxes and two owls), by the middle of the century, it grew into an ambitious metropolitan institution of regional impact. Following the transformations of the local economic and political scenery of the 1990s, but also the global shifts concerning the practice of keeping wild animals captive, an answer had to be found to the question of adjusting the old infrastructure to the new standards in the presentation of wild animals while maintaining a specific environment and financial sustainability in the midst of increasingly unpredictable public financing in a city economically oriented towards tourism and, in regards to the development, to the European Union funds.