A rendering of the future Givskud Zoo in Denmark. / BIG architects
In the future, it will be the humans - not the animals - who are contained in small spaces at a zoo in Denmark.
The Givskud Zoo accepted a design from BIG architects that has no cages and allows animals to live in a landscape very similar to their natural habitats, the zoo announced this week.
Zoo visitors observe from spherical pods in the water or suspended from ziplines that are propelled by pedaling, said Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG.
"Rather than looking at a single animal alone in a cage, which is a very unnatural way of experiencing an animal, sometimes you're outnumbered by the animals and you see them in a real habitat," Ingels told USA TODAY Network.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2019, according to a BIG statement.
The zoo's main entrance will consist of a "crater-like" building with a promenade that overlooks the animal habitats.
Three gates lead the visitors to the three main sections of the zoo - divided into Africa, America and Asia. A path of about 2.5 miles will connect the three areas, reports ArchDaily.com.
Instead of cages or fences, the zoo uses waterways or changes in elevation as natural barriers between the animals and visitors, Ingels said.
In the past, BIG has tried to incorporate the natural world into cityscapes. With this project, Ingels said architects were introducing architecture into nature.
"It makes it much more enjoyable not only for the visitors, but also for the animals," he said. "They have much more desirable conditions."
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Read the original story: In zoo of future, animals roam free with no cages