Indianapolis Zoo Bicentennial Pavilion and Promenade

Indianapolis Zoo Bicentennial Pavilion and Promenade

Indianapolis, Indiana

A $10 million grant from the Lilly Endowment presented the Indianapolis Zoo with the opportunity to implement a game-changing initiative that would engage visitors, bolster sustainability, and accommodate special events and programming. As a long-term, trusted advisor to the zoo, we designed the selected project: a new open-air Bicentennial Pavilion.

Indianapolis Zoo
50,000 SF

Modeled after an Indiana forest and crafted primarily from natural materials, the Pavilion’s eleven steel tree-like “pods” provide 40,000 SF of weather-protected space and a unique, high-drama environment for up to 1000 seated event attendees.

Each pod consists of 63 individual wood beams, and translucent roofing materials allow sunlight to filter through to the ground below, imitating a natural tree canopy. Beneath this 35 foot canopy is the lodge’s visual centerpiece, a hearth of rough-back quarry block limestone providing warmth and respite from cooler weather.

An attraction in and of itself, the Pavilion is a gateway for visitors, a place to relax with refreshments and the main stage for the Magnificent Macaws, an exciting exotic bird showcase occurring twice daily beneath the Pavilion’s expansive wooden awning.

Sustainable and Environmental Design

The site strategy focuses on how the site treats rainwater which is primarily collected and stored on-site by percolating into the natural aquifer and reducing discharge to city sewers.