Inspired By Tortoises

Inspired By Tortoises

The pavilion at the South Pond of Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, designed by Studio Gang Architects, is an elegant open-air structure of bent wood and translucent FRP.  It was erected as part of a re-imagining of the pond area as an educational park.  The pavilion is intended to be used as a classroom area for students learning about the ecology of the pond.

The pavilion design was inspired by the shape of tortoise shells.  Translucent FRP pods provide shelter from wind, noise, and rain, and diffuse sunlight into the space.


“A new boardwalk circumscribing the pond passes through various educational zones that explicate the different animals, plants, and habitat found in each. A pavilion integrated into the boardwalk sequence provides shelter for open-air classrooms on the site. Inspired by the tortoise shell, its laminated structure consists of prefabricated, bent-wood members and a series of interconnected fiberglass pods that give global curvature to the surface.”

(Images via Minner , Kelly. “Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond / Studio Gang Architects” 22 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 03 Jan 2013.)