London Zoo lodges plans for monkeys to take over the iconic Snowdon Aviary

PUBLISHED: 07:55 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:55 12 March 2020

The listed Snowdon Aviary at ZSL London is to get a makeover with a walkway for visitors imags Foster + Partners

The listed Snowdon Aviary at ZSL London is to get a makeover with a walkway for visitors imags Foster + Partners


A walk-through monkey enclosure and a community space for schools and local groups are part of plans for the grade II* listed bird enclosure submitted to Westminster Council

The Snowdon Aviary designs by F+PThe Snowdon Aviary designs by F+P

The signs of spring are starting to show across the city and at London Zoo we are preparing to break ground on the regeneration of the Snowdon Aviary.

On March 13 we will submit updated plans to Westminster Council for the iconic grade II* listed structure, which include exciting new modifications to the makeover.

Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the historic Aviary is set to be transformed into a soaring walk-through monkey enclosure and will enable us here at ZSL to work closely with you, our local community, to provide a new community space, educate thousands more schoolchildren, and play a unique role in bridging the growing divide between people and nature.

Our work on a dedicated community space will ensure we're at the heart of the community and will enable us to bring people and wildlife even closer together.

The new space will host educational events, while being a valuable resource for community groups and local residents; the Zoo recently launched its Community Access Scheme, partnering with organisations who work with local older people, people with additional needs and disabilities, and low income families to provide an affordable opportunity to enjoy a day out at London Zoo.

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Earlier this year, ZSL's community engagement team, supported by National Lottery players, met with a class of 40 first year interior design students from neighbouring Regents University to launch an exciting project. Part of their degree course, it will see the students create their vision for ZSL's dedicated community space, a Zoo trail and accessibility Zoo map - designs we may one day see implemented here.

The renewed renovation designs for the historic Snowdon Aviary will allow us the flexibility to adapt and future proof the remarkable landmark for its incoming residents. The Zoo's troop of colobus monkeys are part a European-wide breeding programme which aims to ensure the survival of this endangered species.

At the heart of the update is a new modular design with innovative and sustainable building concepts, set to give visitors a unique up-close experience with the stunning primates.

The design by globally-renowned architects Foster + Partners allows for the Aviary to continually adapt - ideal for a space that will be home to a growing family.

We are thrilled to be working with the local community to create this space, which embodies one of ZSL's core aims: connecting wildlife and people.

With its pioneering use of aluminium the aviary was designed by Lord Snowdon in 1962.

When the exhbit opened in 1965, it was Britain's first walk through aviary, but in 2016 it was placed on the 'Heritage at risk' register. ZSL has fundraised over £7 million to revamp it, including a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £4.9m.

If you know a community group that would benefit from this space or would like to make a donation to the project, find out more by visiting

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