This dissertation explores the experiential quality of zoological garden enclosures and the threshold between man and animal. This exploration manifests within the context of man’s act of demarcation represented in zoological gardens. The National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria situated on the periphery of the Central Business District form the proposed context of this study. The zoological gardens provide a platform to explore the ill-defined threshold between man and animal, the lack of experiential levels and the quality of the enclosures as habitat. The study investigates landscape design as a medium for design intervention to enhance the experience of zoo enclosures for both
the visitor and animal. Through a methodological approach, the dissertation aims
to establish design stratagems grounded in theory of landscape architecture, zoo design theory and case study review. The stratagems will serve as catalyst to challenge current zoo design principles in order to determine a new set of principles for landscape intervention. The design will follow a hypothetical process that implements the principles as spatial explorations, followed by pragmatic considerations. The outcome will demonstrate on a spatial and experiential level how landscape design can combine ecology and aesthetics to create a hybridised interactive experience with nature, animals and humans in a detail enclosure design. Technical and programmatic requirements will test and refine the final proposal of the enclosure design.
Dissertation (ML(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.