DENVER — Colorado’s most visited cultural attraction, Denver Zoo, held its official groundbreaking on February 7 for its new animal hospital. The existing hospital was originally built 51 years ago, and the redesign will modernize its aging infrastructure and improve operating efficiencies.
Led by Stantec, a global architecture, engineering, and consulting firm, the 22,000-square-foot facility will incorporate state-of-the-industry animal care and provide safe access to the animals, offering holding areas that include quarantine spaces. The building design includes considerations for noise, views, and access to daylight to ensure animal comfort. Haselden Construction is the GC on the project.
To raise awareness of the zoo’s mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding, the hospital will feature a signature elevated guest lobby providing unobstructed views into the facility’s clinical suite. The treatment rooms, surgery suite, and laboratory will be viewable to zoo visitors, guest veterinarians, researchers and students through large windows. Additionally, operating table lights will be installed with cameras, allowing lobby visitors to see what surgeons are seeing through television displays broadcasting live from the surgery suite.
For zoo guests, the public lobby will be open during zoo hours and will provide more than just a peek behind the scenes—it will also offer interactive interpretation to allow visitors a deeper understanding of the dedication, resources, care, and passion the zoo’s animals receive inside the veterinary hospital. Additionally, the hospital will provide new opportunities for research, collaboration, and education to holistically advance animal care.
In addition to a world-class laboratory for diagnostics, nutritional analyses and research, the hospital will have digital radiography equipment, ultrasonography, endoscopy units, and advanced anesthesia monitoring. It will also be one of the only animal hospitals in the country to include a CT scanner, using advanced imaging to revolutionize the ability to diagnose and treat animal patients.
“We’re honored to be working with the Denver Zoo on this transformational project to improve one of the city’s most beloved cultural attractions,” said Alexander Thome, Stantec principal based in Denver. “The new dynamic relationship created by the guest viewing experience will educate, entertain, create empathy and ultimately change the way that the Zoo’s animal welfare and conservation efforts are perceived by the public. This is a project that] truly belongs to the Denver community, and we’re thrilled to be breaking ground on it.”
Stantec’s buildings group in Denver is providing architecture, interior design, and project management on the project that is expected to be complete the first quarter of 2020.
“The new hospital will stand as a testament to the qualities that have defined Denver Zoo for 123 years—innovation, collaboration and—most importantly—dedication to providing the best possible care for our
animals here at the Zoo, and protecting wildlife around the world,” said Bert Vescolani, president/CEO of Denver Zoo. “With enhanced facilities and optimized spaces, combined with state-of-the-industry tools, we’ll be able to continue to ensure our animals’ wellbeing for many years to come.”
Rendering courtesy of Stantec