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Memphis Zoo Enclosure Renovation:

Project Size: 3,399 SF

Completed: 2022

This renovation of the old hippo enclosure at the Memphis Zoo will house community functions and events, as well as adding a splash pad to the programs that the Memphis Zoo offers. This 3,400 SF renovation will bring back to life a building, that once was a splash zone for hippos, and create a splash pad for Zoo visitors. This renovation allowed for the implementation of materials that can service a wide variety of event programs. Multipurpose use and optimization were a focus and priority of this project. The interior of the space will be able to house gatherings of different sizes, as the event space partitions are moveable and can be hidden away. Three large roll-up glass doors will provide access to the splash pad from the event spaces and allow for natural light and views to flood the programs.


The character of the existing structure will be hinted at with remnants of its exiting columns and bricks to be exposed. The conversion from a home for hippos to a multipurpose event space and splash pad, was a story that needed to be expressed in a holistic design approach. This emphasis on the adaptive reuse of its existing character created a flow of design. That flow can be shaped to meet the programmatic needs of the events and the visitors it services.

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