Reconstruction of the “Lion House” to create “House of Tropical Birds” - Евразийская Премия
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Reconstruction of the “Lion House” to create “House of Tropical Birds”

Type of entry: Completed


This project is a reconstruction of the historical large cats enclosure complex, built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Königsberg Tiergarten (presumably – 1907), to adapt it for housing exotic tropical birds and other species inhabiting tropical forests.

The complexity and uniqueness of this project (and similar ones) is that historical zoos (history of which goes back to the 2nd half of the 19th century) are constantly facing the challenge of adapting historical objects to ever-increasing new standards for animal housing conditions. This is a situation relevant of the  Kaliningrad Zoo and its historical facilities, as it was necessary to preserve the historical view of the building (which is the subject of protection within the zoo which is considered to be “the object of cultural heritage of regional significance”), incorporating new modern solutions for the comfort of animals and plants. Due to the high grade of wooden structures degradation and metal corrosion, the building was dismantled and then rebuilt anew. Dimensions and shapes of the building in full scale, its measurement and drawings and historical photos were used to recreate the historical look. The internal layout has been completely redesigned.

The roof is covered with copper, which allows to present the historical look of this building. The wooden details of the building are recreated in their historical forms as they are an important part of the interior, which is illuminated by daylight through the roof lights (this also saves the energy costs due to use of daylight). The inner surfaces of the enclosure walls and visitor areas are decorated with sandstone slabs and tree trunks. A 40 cm thick layer of coniferous wood bark covers the floors. There are small streams and ponds inside the enclosures, and about 600 plants. For the wall decoration and landscaping inside the pavilion, several vertical phytomodules were used for the first time – these are green walls with automated irrigation. Inner enclosures have a ventilation system with climate control function. All inner enclosures are fenced with panoramic tempered glass, made by the zoo special request. Outside aviaries adjusted to the four sides of the building, are covered with a special strong wire mesh.

The project is designed to use modern energy-saving systems and environmentally neutral building and finishing materials. So, for example, to reduce the effect of the “heat island” and to manage storm runoffs on the flat roof of the technical extension, we arranged a green roof with drip irrigation. During dry seasons it is operated with minimal water consumption.

The use of green roofs can also reduce the greenhouse effect of heat transfer, which is present when using traditional materials. The organized system of water collection and circulation in decorative reservoirs allows to reduce the volume of water consumption and waste water disposal. Also, light-sensitive device helps to reduce the amounts of electricity consumption for lighting the pavilion. Due to the specific location of the Kaliningrad region and the high cost of delivering goods from the Russian Federation territory, a significant part of building materials was purchased from local manufacturers or delivered from nearby European countries.

The combination of daylight, living plants and decorations made from naturalistic materials create a special microclimate, the atmosphere of a tropical rainforest, where seventeen species of birds and three species of mammals live their best life.

Project title: «Reconstruction of the “Lion House” to create “House of Tropical Birds” ».

Location:  MAIC “The Kaliningrad zoo” 26 Mira avenue, Kaliningrad, 236022 Russia

Ordering customer: MAIC “The Kaliningrad zoo”

Creator of the architectural design: Marek Nakonieczny, Poland.

Project developer: Kaliningradpromproekt LLC. (Kaliningrad, Russia)

General contractor: RM Nasledie LLC. (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Project created:  2013

Project implemented:  November 07, 2017 – September 10, 2019




Marek Nakonechny


"Kaliningrad Zoo", LLC "Kaliningradpromproekt", LLC "RM Heritage"


Kaliningrad, Russia