African Penguins Make a Splash at the Maryland Zoo

September 27, 2014

The Maryland Zoo is home to one of North America’s largest breeding colonies of African penguins and plays a key role in the conservation of this threatened species. The new state-of-the-art exhibit, opening September 2014, will provide an enhanced natural environment designed to reflect the South African home of these unique coastal birds. Designed by CLR Architects to look like an abandoned fishing camp that has been reclaimed by the coastal environment and its inhabitants, the exhibit will feature many viewing opportunities both above and below the water, as well as unique water features creating a highly dynamic environment for both penguins and visitors alike.

Gecko Group worked closely with the Zoo’s education staff to develop the exhibit and craft a compelling story. The interpretive elements were designed to complement the themed exhibit environment. Cedar wood and galvanized steel were dominant elements in the architecture as well as in the design of the interpretation. Unique story poles rise up out of the ground like the posts surrounding the wharf area, and low profile reader rails wrap the viewing areas. Gecko Group also created messaging inside the Education Center and designed the donor recognition program and all building signage.

Penguin Coast

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Content Development
Exhibit Planning
Graphic Design
Project Management
Fabrication Oversight and Installation


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