Calgary Zoo Elephant Crossing

Client The Calgary Zoological Society | Location Calgary, AB | Size 2,050 m2 | Completion 2007


A place to call home for the largest land mammal in the world.

Elephant Crossing at The Calgary Zoo is a redevelopment of the original large animal building, which (until 2015) accommodated the Calgary Zoo’s herd of Asia Elephants, a series of terrariums/aquariums, and a multi-functional indoor area for travelling exhibits. The facility currently hosts the Panda Passage exhibit. This project is a cornerstone of The Calgary Zoo’s initiative in becoming one of the top five zoological parks in North America. The redevelopment provided over two-thirds more space for the elephants and an enhanced visitor experience through the addition of both indoor and outdoor amphitheatres.

The redevelopment addressed the special needs of the elephants and the visual perception that the public has of the exhibit by providing a series of extended view phases and large volumes. We based the architecture and theme of the facility on a South-East Asian influence using traditional forms and building materials such as wood structural elements and screens.

The project includes several sustainable design elements such as re-use of the original building materials, natural ventilation, daylighting and animal waste recycling.