Miller Hull

Examining the Role of Architectural Research for Africa Rocks Lemur Habitat

3-2-2018 | Articles

RT Lonsdale

The art and science of architecture is a complex and inventive effort. Beyond designing the physical elements of a space, how would architects meet the unique challenge of creating a healthy indoor environment for a series of endangered animals–like lemurs? The San Diego Zoo’s new Africa Rocks exhibit presented our firm, The Miller Hull Partnership, with such an opportunity. The project transforms eight acres of the Zoo, replacing 1930’s era grottos and cages with an immersive patron experience representing ecosystems from savannah to shore and which includes the Madagascar Habitat featuring five species of lemurs. As one might imagine, recreating lemur habitat required extensive research and product development. Lighting, we learned, plays a significant role in promoting physical and emotional health of these sensitive primates. Miller Hull coordinated a team of primate management staff, lighting technology engineers, and medical researchers to collaborate on a solution to simulate the lemur’s natural habitat.

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