Ursa International

Cyclorama and Elephant Savanna



Zoo Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

ZAT Elephant site


Concept Plan for the adaptive re-use of the Historic Cyclorama Museum
and expansion of the Masai Mara Savanna Exhibit (2014)

Ursa International and The Epsten Group was asked to create a concept for the adaptive re-use of the Historic Cyclorama which for the past 80 years, sat at the entry to the zoo and was operated by the City of Atlanta as a Civil War Museum. The great painting, diorama and exhibits (including a full size locomotive) will be moved to the Atlanta History Center. Our Plan was to demolish the old Administration building to create an expansive Zoo Plaza, put the zoo's offices on the first two floors of the Cyclorama and transform the upper floors into a two story event space with a view into the new expanded Masai Mara Savanna Exhibit on three additional acres that the City transferred to the Zoo in this transformative project.

There are many moving parts and pieces to this project including a new park path to bring people from the upper parking areas, renovations to the Zoo's entry and ticketing process, expansion of the Gift Shop and the Administrative and Event Venue in the Cyclorama. In the Zoo, the old Elephant will be refitted for Black Rhino, the Giraffe/Zebra Savanna exhibit will be updated with expanded feeding opportunities, a new warthog exhibit and the new Elephant Savanna will occupy the old rhino area as well as the additional three acres. The new Elephant Barn will house up to 7 Elephants including a Bull to give Zoo Atlanta the opportunity to contribute to the African Elephant SSP and provide guests with a realistic experience of Elephant behavior and the African Savanna.

The Concept Plan was approved in July of 2014 and we are currently hard at work developing Design Documents for this exciting new project.

Below are several screenshots from the Concept Animation that gives a clear vision for what a great project this will be.

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Approaching the Zoo Plaza from the West

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Event Space with a view

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Upper deck mezzanine

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Savanna views from the Lower Balcony

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