Ah, Pangea. The symbol of our united prehistory, the pot to our primordial soup. You could read about it in some drab old geography book or, better yet, come 2014, hop on over to Russia and see it in real life — right down to the sparkling geodesic domes.
The what?! Okay, so the zoo, designed by French architects Beckmann N?Thépé (with landscaping by TN PLUS), isn’t a precise facsimile of our ancestors’ crusty old Supercontinent. As the press write-up tells it, it’s “an attempt to recreate the illusion of a reunited Pangea” within the walls of a sprawling, 300-hectare “zoological park”-cum-architectural playground on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. The project is expected to start construction shortly. Elevator pitch: Jurassic Park meets Buckminster Fuller.
As the rendering up top shows, the park is arranged as if “Pangea” were a cluster of islands, with separate zones for South East Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, North America, Eurasia, and the Arctic Pole. Gee-whiz lookouts and chic little wildlife digs sprinkled every which way raise the theatricality typical of any zoo to something approach blockbuster cinema. Below, note the stunning white viewing platform raised up on stilts and the cafe with floor-to-ceiling glass that peers out onto a lush green habitat, perfect for watching adorbs little animal shenanigans in high style. This being Russia, we wouldn’t expect anything less. Opulence, they haz it.