New Zealand studios Monk Mackenzie and Glamuzina Patterson have created a new giraffe breeding shelter for Auckland Zoo, intended to accentuate the disparity between human and giraffe heights.

The brief called for an understated and low-cost shelter incorporating two dens with a separate area for the zookeepers.

Simple construction techniques and a reduced palette of locally-sourced materials were employed to keep the project within budget.

Sloped roofs have been intersected to clearly define the two enclosure spaces and create a floor to ceiling elevation of 3-10 metres.

A bright yellow door integrated into the black timber panel façade of the shorter end of the structure provides an entrance for zoo staff, while the taller end features six metre doors for the giraffes.

Four sliding exterior doors connect the dens to separate roaming yards and moveable walls allow the shelter to be transformed to meet the changing functional and physiological needs of the animals.

Clerestory windows above the main doors allow natural light into the dens, while an internal mezzanine provides a platform from which keepers, vets and small visitor groups can safely observe the giraffes.

Courtesy Arch Daily