October 29th, 2009 in Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RALEIGH, N.C. - HH Architecture has been selected as the architect for the expansion and renovation of the N.C. Zoological Park’s Polar Bear exhibit in Asheboro, N.C. The project will allow the Zoo to improve the habitat and living areas for its current resident, Wilhelm, as well as any new bears that are brought to the Zoo.
The expansion will add a new 15,000 sq. ft. habitat area as well as a new 2,400 sq. ft. holding building. A new 7,500 sq. ft. open-air education center will have a glass front viewing area to provide visitors with an up-close experience with the bears. The exhibit will help educate the public on a variety of topics including the reduction the polar bear’s natural habitat due to global warming.
Renovations to the existing holding areas will enlarge the dens and bring in natural light so the bears have a comfortable place to retreat when not on exhibit. The new exhibit areas will be designed to meet the Manitoba Standards for Polar Bears, rigorous guidelines that ensure the support and the well-being of polar bears at the zoo.
The $6.3 million expansion and renovation project will also include retrofitting the existing swimming areas from freshwater to saltwater, as well as energy reduction measures to minimize the environmental impact of the exhibit.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the State of North Carolina and the Zoo. The Polar Bear Exhibit is an incredible asset to our state,” said Kristen Hess, principal at HH Architecture. “Our focus is to make a stronger connection between visitors and the bears.”
The Polar Bear Habitat is the most popular exhibit at the Zoo and is a tourist attraction for the region. This expansion will help attract more visitors for the Zoo.
HH Architecture will lead the team selected for the project. Their team includes: Ursa International, animal habitat and exhibit design; CLH Design, civil engineering; TJP Engineering, life support design; Stroud Pence & Associates, structural engineering; and Stanford White, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical engineering.
About HH Architecture:
HH Architecture is a design firm focused on creating spaces that promote learning, wellness, and recreation. We are committed to improving the community through conscientious, responsible design. We are accredited professionals in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and have extensive experience with design that minimizes waste and uses resources wisely.