Thompson + Pollari

Children’s Education and Conservation Center

Children’s Education and Conservation Center“The CECC must be an environment of learning, awe and wonder that achieves it’s sense of place through an organic and unconventional architecture”. This concept plan for the Children’s Education and Conservation Center was developed by T+P for an interview with Phoenix Zoo and Liberty Wildlife staff that planned development of this learning center at the Zoo. The overall site and building project was designed to be experienced as a ‘narrative landscape” with zones representing The Mountain, The Lagoon, The Desert, the Oasis, The Forest and the Spring. 

Children’s Education and Conservation CenterChoice of architectural materials and systems focused on the use of the salvaged, recycled, natural and “green” materials that supported the narrative landscape concept and desired learning experiences. The 16,600 SF project was planned as a 2-story Education Center, located across an open plaza area from a one story clinic structure, both to be built from precast concrete plank wall systems. Outdoor animal enclosures for both tame birds and raptors supported the clinic, with remote cages located along the NW side of the site. Landscape design concepts were developed by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects.



September- 2000

Key Design Concepts

  • “Narrative landscape” as concept for overall development plan
  • Sustainable design focus for landscape and building design
  • Themed environments with “green design” concepts:
    • Linear, suspended misting system to form the “FOG BANK”  
    • Recycled telephone poles with recycled army netting for plaza shade structures
    • Recycled rubber playground surfaces for childrens’ play zones, to recall MOSS
    • “Gabion” structures utilizing local  river stone for construction of the “MOUNTAINS”