Thesis Project

A Day at the Zoo
A research project about the zoo as an urban fragment and its architectural similarities to the city.
After spending a summer visiting zoo's, Bart de Hartog delved deeper into the zoo and went from architectural taxonomies to urban metaphors, finally building a diorama blending the boundaries between zoo and city.
Conducted during his final semester at the Berlage Institute for Advanced Studies in Achitecture and Urban Design, Bart de Hartog visited the zoos of Yerevan, Sofia, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Vienna and subsequently delved into the history of the zoo and its relation to the city. As part of the program "The Good Life", it looked at how this extra-ordinary urban fragment went from a menagerie at the edge of the 19th century city, to a green island next to office building, highway junctions and residential towers. The zoo was dissected into it's elements, including a.o. artificial mountains, footpaths, a pit, some terracing and most importantly, a gate. These fragments became a taxonomy of the zoo, and although most of the buildings in it were designed with a certain animal in mind, they resembled the architecture of the city and the people that designed them more than they gave away on the first glance. This insight was turned a publication called Zoo Metaphors / Morphologies, a dirty copy of Oswald Matthias Ungers book City Metaphors / Morphologies from 1981. To visualize the tight link between the architecture of the zoo and the city, a diorama was made where the relationship between city & zoo, architecture & habitat and human & animal was constantly shifting depending from where you looked. Watch a short film about the project here:

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January 22, 2016
Morphology / Zoo Metaphors

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