The new Panda Interpretive Centre at the Toronto Zoo has been awarded the 2013 HOW International Design Award of Merit in the category of signage, way-finding and environmental graphics. The HOW International Design Awards recognizes excellence on a global scale and winners will be featured in How Magazine’s 2014 March issue, which provides its readers with a taste of design innovation on an international design scale. The Panda Interpretive Centre is part of the five-year Giant Panda Experience at the Toronto Zoo, which features Canada’s only giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao.
Toronto-based international exhibit design firm Reich+Petch worked with the Toronto Zoo in the development and design of the new Panda Interpretive Centre, which opened to the public this past May. This centre is unique to other Panda Exhibits across North America because of its conservation and educational features designed for adults and children alike who can explore, through a variety of graphics and model displays, interactive features, multimedia games and audio visual presentations. Through its enhanced educational focus, this innovative centre teaches visitors about the many unique aspects of the giant panda and the importance of this five-year conservation loan to the Toronto Zoo. Some key features include: how much bamboo do giant pandas eat?; connecting habitats; and meet the experts; to name a few.
Robin Hale, Toronto Zoo Chief Operating Officer.
Says Robin Hale, Toronto Zoo CEO, “One of the most significant and iconic symbols of wildlife conservation is the giant panda. At 8,000 square feet, the Panda Interpretive Centre, at the Toronto Zoo, is one of the largest panda educational facilities in the world. The Panda Interpretive Centre employs many state-of-the-art interactive features to convey the importance of habitat preservation for the protection and survival of many threatened and endangered wild species, not just the giant panda.”
A bold modern aesthetic, Chinese-inspired imagery, immersive graphics and entertaining multimedia interactives introduce visitors to these beloved giant pandas. The clean white lines of the tent’s interior space are punctuated with vibrant red accents which celebrate Chinese culture and traditions, while bold black and white structures play off the giant panda’s iconic appearance. Life-sized animal images, large environmental graphics and bamboo patterns are used as accents within the space to provide context and realism to this unique endangered animal.
As Canada’s premier zoo, the Toronto Zoo’s mission is to be a dynamic and exciting action centre that inspires people to love, respect and protect wildlife and wild spaces. Reich+Petch have designed experiences within the Centre to showcase this mission with an entertaining and interactive focus. To date, over one million visitors have experienced the Panda Interpretive Centre.