Case Studies

Expect the unexpected

Client: Taronga Zoo
Purpose, Strategy, Concept,
Environmental Design

Barrierless enclosures. Towering climbing structures. Lenticular ceilings. Hidden forest messages. The Lemur Forest Adventure at Taronga Zoo is more than just another zoo exhibit; it is an immersive, sensory spectacle… where nothing is as it seems.

The Brief

Located in the historic seal pools at the heart of the zoo, Taronga sought to create an unparalleled, world class exhibit combining a barrierless Lemur walkthrough and a high-energy play environment… ultimately providing a platform for a larger conservation conversation. Our aim was to bring this experience to life through an interpretive package, marrying the environment, the built form and the conservation message.


In order to deliver on Taronga’s goals for this precinct, the Lemur Forest Adventure needed to foster a physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually immersive experience. A meaningful, anchoring narrative was required to achieve this.

Having evolved for millions of years in isolation, Madagascar is home to some of the world's most bizarre and spectacular animals and plant life—including the sites draw-card, the ring-tailed lemur. This extraordinarily unusual island provided the perfect connective thread for the development of some unique experiential elements.

‘Expect the unexpected’ became the driving purpose linking the various zones of the precinct… from the sense of entering another world through the forest discovery path, the high intensity action of the play area through to the spectacle of seeing ring-tailed lemurs up close and personal.

Every surface, message and experience became an opportunity to bring this concept to life. An animated entry ceiling. Hidden trees overflowing with textural discovery. Giant, ground-dwelling creatures waiting to be conquered. A kaleidoscope providing a bugs-eye view of the environment.

In essence, every element had a crucial role in telling the greater story by creating a cohesive experience, facilitating a deeper relationship between the exhibit and visitor… and ultimately, presenting an opportunity to share the conservation story in a unique and compelling way.

The Result

A world-class visitor experience

Awarded Gold in the Best Attraction category at the 2013 NSW Tourism Awards, the newly opened Lemur Forest Adventure is already proving to be one of the most popular attractions in Sydney.

Further Work

Unleash the possibilities
Barnardos Australia
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