Visualizations © Barna Bozso

Schönbrunner Tiergarten Gesellschaft m.b.H

General planning
Pesendorfer und Machalek Architekten

Gross floor area: 7.880 m²
Usable floor area: 6.600 m²

Competition 2023: 2. Price

Competition Species Conservation Aquarium Schönbrunn



Maxingstraße 13b,


Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world. Founded in 1752 by Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, the husband of Maria Theresa, it is part of the Schönbrunn UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to being a popular recreational area, Schönbrunn Zoo is also an educational center, a venue for research and teaching, and a strong partner for nature and species conservation projects.

The external appearance and proportions of the building sections on the border to the palace park and towards the administration courtyard will be retained, thus preserving the existing historical ensemble. The intermediate wing in the area of the entrance to the new species conservation aquarium will be designed as a glass structure following the historical form. This subtle accentuation makes the main entrance easily recognizable and creates a visual relationship between the existing forecourt and the interior of the new entrance hall.

The central core of the building comprising two floors above ground, is set back from the façade fronts. On the sides facing the castle park, a shadow gap is created between the historic pitched roof and the upper floor. Towards the main entrance and the Giraffengehege, the “eaves height” and the appearance will be adapted to the existing building heights by staggering the upper floor.

The technical façade on the upper floor thus recedes into the background. The expanded metal cladding allows plants to grow and hides technically necessary openings in the outer wall. The staggered design makes it possible to create a green flat roof over large parts of the first floor.