Ursa International

Bioparco Roma


New Vision for an old Zoo

The Bioparco project is a renovation of the 100 year old Rome Zoo into a modern zoo/conservation education park on over 30 acres of historically important parkland in the heart of Rome.  Given the opportunities and constraints of working within the existing built infrastructures and trees, the redevelopment hopes to significantly improve the conditions of the exhibits and species housed which have long term importance to the Zoo and its conservation efforts.

Ursa International was hired in 1999 to coordinate the design of anew Master Plan for Rome Zoo as it went from municipal to private management. The Lash’s facilitated the development of the plan along with Zoo management and staff, gaining approval by the City of Rome. The Plan and image sketches represent a new direction that is underway at Bioparco. This Redevelopment Plan was the first one in 80 years since the Zoos original Designer, Hagenbeck laid out the Zoo in 1892. It transforms and enhances the historic park seeking to create more humane environments for the animal collection while preserving the important structures of the past. Additional exhibits include the African Jungle, Biodiversity Center, Eurasian Highlands, and African Savanna.

The first several projects have been identified during a master planning process and Ursa International continued to develop plans for their construction.  These high priority husbandry projects include improvements for great apes, brown bears, african hoofstock, exotic and native birds and reptiles as well as new exhibits for wild dogs and pygmy hippos.  Additional planning work involved new visitor services facilities for food, gift and educational presentations. This project was undertaken in association with an Italian architectural team and the Bioparco staff and advisors.  Ursa International was in charge of conceptual and preliminary zoological and site planning, including biological programming and husbandry as well as detail design for each project.

Gateway Detail
Detail of the old Rome Zoo Gateway