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Zoo Shades

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Status: Schematic Design, On-Hold

Construction Budget: $100,000

Design: Design: Claudio Vekstein in collaboration with Catherine Spellman, Archs

Design Assistants: Colin Billings, Tulio Gines, Archs

Client: Phoenix Zoo

Location: Phoenix Zoo, Papago Park, Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Area: 3,500 sf

Zoo Shades is a series of coverings for a place where elementary school students have lunch and rest after their visits to the Phoenix Zoo. This existing area currently references the old Aztec, Mayan, Inca, and other Latin-American pre-Colombian cultures.

The large-scale structures articulate a difference in elevation facing the lake, and develop figural patterned screens of complete or fragmentary animals taken from the Nazca Lines (Peru) in their elevated roofs. The cutout figures project concentrated rays of light on an extended shade surface, like inverted Chinese hand-shadows.