Designing and delivering a sensory experience 82

Taronga Zoo
What makes a trip to the zoo memorable?

A sensory experience

Many revel in the opportunity to get up close and personal with all the colourful creatures of the animal kingdom. All the weird and wild animals, their funny antics, sounds and smells, provide a sense of wonder across the generations.

For over 10-years Diadem has worked with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia to design and deliver a range of initiatives to help patrons get the most out of their visit to Taronga Zoo.

The various signage and wayfinding projects, both large and small, simple and complex, have helped to enhance the visitor experience and increase the brand reputation of Taronga as one of Australia’s most loved tourist attractions.

An award winning design

Working with the Zoo’s internal design department, architects and branding agents, Diadem has created and delivered a range of signage, wayfinding and interpretive installations at both Taronga Sydney and Western Plains Zoos.

One of the most significant redevelopment projects undertaken is the construction of the upper entry car park and remodelled zoo entry. Diadem worked with architects BVN Architects to provide wayfinding and signage design and documentation services.

The recipient of the 2012 National Architect Award for Urban Design, the project has resulted in the cohesive journey into the grounds of the zoo by separating the car park space from the buildings and has created a sense of arrival, theatre and anticipation.

Welcome Arch

A 10 metre long, 4-metre high concept by Melbourne based Nutshell Graphics was to welcome visitors to Taronga Zoo, adding a sense of arrival and theatre to the experience. Multilingual welcome messages and HD screens viewing various wildlife activities including audio were included.

Diadem acted as a construction manager providing technical specifications and construction services coordinating directly with the contractors throughout the project. The project required close collaboration with fabricators, installers and communication contractors to ensure design criteria such as safety, durability and serviceability were met.

Interpretive signs

Taronga has a long heritage of working with creative design agencies, illustrators and artists to develop stories and provide quality educational content as part of the zoo experience.

Five small interpretive totems constructed from timber with ‘hot-wire’ graphics and glass were installed into the entry to Taronga Western Plains. Diadem’s role on this project was in a design and construct capacity.

Wild Australia Walk

Taronga Sydney is home to over 4,000 animals, including Australian native wildlife, as well as rare and exotic species. Getting around all the attractions in a day is a task, so Taronga introduced the idea to create a ‘zoo within a zoo’ to highlight the wildlife that is indigenous to Australia. Creating an Australian native bushwalk within the larger zoo precinct enabled patrons to self-guide through the zoo environment and did not compete with the broader site sign system.

The solution created by Diadem working with communications agency This is Ikon was to install a series of oversized corten steel, and timber gum leaves that were positioned around the walking paths as trail markers for visitors to follow.

Taronga Food Market

With spectacular views over Sydney Harbour, the Taronga Food Market has been styled with an oriental thatched roof, dark timbers with high exposed ceilings.

Diadem worked closely with Taronga’s internal design studio, building contractor Brisland and contracted food service providers to plan, develop and deliver bespoke shops fronts, environmental graphics and backlit menu boards.

Diadem is proud to be involved with the various projects at Taronga and help the organisation maintain its leadership tourism and conservation status.

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