Taronga Western Plains Zoo entrance

Cient: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Project: Meerkat enclosure at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW

Description: This $600,000 project was designed to create a prominent feature at the entrance to the zoo with a new exhibit housing the meerkats, while also reconfiguring the entrance to the black rhino exhibit

Barnson’s Role: Building design, as well as structural and civil engineering

Time frameThis project was completed in December 2015

Our building design team was engaged to work with landscape architects from Dubbo's leading tourist attraction. Their brief was to develop plans for the relocation of the popular meerkats to a new 100sqm exhibit at the entrance to the zoo. The new area incorporates large glass panels to give visitors an up-close and personal experience where they see the meerkats enjoying their natural environment. The exhibit includes sand, stones, logs and purpose-built tunnels that provide shelter and shade for the meerkats. Importantly, the new enclosure can also be divided when necessary so the zoo's staff can manage changes in the group’s social structure. It includes a designated area for visitor encounters that allows guests to make the most of their experience.

The biggest challenge in this project was to ensure our team met the guidelines set out for the enclosure and for the care of the meerkats by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.