Visitor Centre - the centre of environmental education in Ostrava ZOO (2012)
When rebuilding an important building for Ostrava ZOO, it was necessary to consider the needs of ZOO visitors as well as the comfort of the animal residents of the zoological garden. While children and adults may enjoy a new visitor centre and learn interesting information on the nature and ecology, the animals will obviously appreciate better environment of their enclosures.
The most important phase of the reconstruction was the construction of an interactive visitor centre which serves at the same time as a centre of environmental education. The appearance of the multifunctional object comes from the east-Asian architecture, thematically suitable for the particular part of the ZOO because directly next to the building, there are animals and plants coming from East Asia are located. The second floor was designed as a wooden extension with the outside terrace enabiling the visitors to watch the animals in their enclosures. The fauna may be watched also in the inside of the centre where an aquarium with filtration is installed. The interior is equipped with benches, boards and projectors and other school equipment. Also the outer classroom is designated for learning and education.
The reconstruction included also building a restaurant with the kitchen and catering equipment for meal preparation. The heating of the place is solved by a pellet boiler and the water is heated by solar panels, which enables eco-friendly and at the same time economical operation. Besides the new centre we also built new asphalt roads, paths and elevated views in the adjacent enclosure. The path is lined by benches and educational boards following on the educational programs of the centre and introducing the endangered animal and plant species. Other construction works were related to the construction of the Water world that represents an educational composition showing the importance of water in the nature and in the human life. Thus the compact water biotop was created. The area was completed with water jets, children attractions and interactive elements with flowing water and a fountain.
During the reconstruction of the ZOO, the demands for the comfort of animals were taken into account. The stabling for clove-footed animals was restored and their enclosures were provided with fences. The farm house was insulated and new technical facilities installed such as a watering-place or heating radiant ceiling panels. We built also service connections of the waste and rain water, electric, water and telephone connections. We built the adjacent sewage plant and the grease trap. Ostrava ZOO thus obtained modernized and convenient premises for the bred animals as well as for visitors.