Paris-based Influx Studio obliterated the archetype of the safari-like zoo layout by designing, for a 2009 competition, a vertical-urban zoo.

With wide expanses to comfortably house animals stacked on top of each other, Influx Studio has created a completely original zoo design that makes wildlife accessible in the city. The project, proposed for Buenos Aires, Argentina, seeks to increase the awareness of the earth’s diversity of ecosystems by placing a diverse array of wildlife in the unusual urban context.

Within the structure is a giant ferris wheel that visitors ride, making the structure as a whole a functioning safari experience. The enormous wheel is comprised of cars where visitors ride and view the animals close up in their separate sections. The wheel turns very slowly, fully completing its circuit every hour.  At the top stop of the observation wheel, visitors can exit onto a sightseeing level to admire the view, eat, shop, or participate in educational activities.

At a staggering 240 meters tall, this urban zoo complex is certainly, as Influx Studio stated, “a surprising and dramatic city sightseeing safari.”

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