Giraffe House

Animal Shelter

The architects can be congratulated not just for designing a giraffe boudoir but for adding a formal metaphor for sexual intercourse to our repertoire of architectural language.

Bill McKay

Plywood board and batten and plywood sheeting

Polycarbonate sheeting and plywood cladding

Plywood board and batten and plywood sheeting

Polycarbonate sheeting and plywood cladding

Movable doors

Differing scales of human and giraffe doors

Movable doors

Differing scales of human and giraffe doors

Mezzanine

Stairs to mezzanine

Mezzanine

Stairs to mezzanine

[The design team made] inventive use of the intersecting roof forms and the skillful play of scale between giraffe and human-sized elements.

2013 Auckland Architecture Awards jury

Giraffe House

Animal Shelter

Practice : GPA and Monk Mackenzie

Location : Auckland Zoo

Status : Completed 2013

Growing giraffe numbers led Auckland Zoo to commission a new giraffe-breeding shelter. Two dens and a keeper area were required and opportunities were seen in the disparity in scale between ruminant and human occupants to accommodate a number of functional and operational overlaps. The resulting shelter has an understated exterior with an overall mass that is playfully broken down through intersecting roof forms that articulate the junction between the two dens and accentuate the collision of human and giraffe scales. Due to the changing functional and physiological needs of the giraffes, movable doors and walls were incorporated to allow the space to be flexibly arranged. Sliding doors open to different yards that can be configured as separate roaming areas. Working to a tight budget, the project showed that a bespoke, fit-for-purpose shelter could be produced using a simple palette of locally sourced materials and vernacular construction methodologies.

 

Awards:

2013 Auckland Architecture Awards – Public Architecture Category Winner
2013 World Architecture Festival Awards – Finalist

Practice : GPA and Monk Mackenzie

Location : Auckland Zoo

Status : Completed 2013