In 1826, Stamford Raffles together with Humphrey Davy brought together a group of scientists, collectors, gentry and gentlemen and founded the Zoological Society of London. The Society obtained a lease on an area of Regents Park in 1826 and appointed Decimus Burton, a young architect, to lay out the grounds and design accommodation for the animals. Some of his buildings are still here within the Zoo.
Over almost 200 years many leading architects have contributed to the built environment of the Zoo. It has developed with a wealth of architectural variety that illustrates trends and styles in architecture over that period, including two Grade I and ten Grade II listed structures.
The architecture also illustrates the history of animal husbandry. It has developed from a literal blank page in the early 19th century, where animals were often seen for the first time, to today’s cooperation with research and information regarding best practice allowing this knowledge to be incorporated in the design of each new enclosure.
Such a legacy of listed architecture within the Zoo means it has had to adapt. It has amended some of the buildings to get the optimum use from the structures which suit the requirements of the animals as we know them to be today.
About the day:
ZSL History & Architect Day commences with teas & coffees followed by an introductory presentation to the history of ZSL, and a guided tour of the Zoo. The tour will illustrate the architectural themes and bring some of the history of the Zoo and the key features of the buildings and enclosures to your attention.
The presentation and tour will be led by ZSL Fellow Paul Wilson BSc(Hons), FRICS, FCIOB
11.00am: Arrive for teas and coffees
11.15am: History of ZSL Presentation
12.15pm: Architectural Tour of ZSL London Zoo & Q&As
1.45pm: Finish – free time to roam the Zoo
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org