London Zoo iconic aviary £7m revamp approved

Aaron Morby 9 months ago
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Plans to repurpose and transform the Grade II listed Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo have been given the go-ahead by Westminster Council.

The scheme, understood to cost around £7m, will see the iconic structure revamped to create a world leading facility for Black and White Colobus monkeys and other species native to forests in western and eastern Africa.

Modernising the structure, listed in 1998 as the first permanent tensioned building in the UK, will be the most ambitious project undertaken by the Zoo.


Designed by Cedric Price with engineer Frank Newby and Lord Snowdon in 1962, it became Britain’s first walk-through aviary.

The main structure will be retained and restored where needed with existing aluminium mesh replaced with stainless steel netting.

Snowden Aviary

The Snowdon Aviary is currently on the Historic England Buildings at Risk Register given the poor condition of its structural frame.

The Foster + Partners designed project will also include the construction of three new geodesic timber structures – a new monkey house will be connected by means of two elevated lattice monkey highways made out of laminated bamboo and lined with stainless steel mesh.

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 22.54.10

An existing walkway within the aviary will be widened and fitted with new balustrades.

Norman Foster said: “The rebirth of the Snowdon Aviary continues our work with historical structures. It is about the fusion of the old and new, but also about repurposing this extraordinary structure.

The brand-new walk-though home will allow it to extend its role for decades to come. It will ensure the preservation of an iconic structure and honour its distinguished authors from the past, while preserving a unique built example of Cedric Price’s work.”

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 23.11.11

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