London Zoo’s iconic aviary to become a walk-through monkey enclosure

PUBLISHED: 17:15 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:19 16 November 2016

The majestic Snowdon Aviary. Photo: Daniel SprawsonZSL

The majestic Snowdon Aviary. Photo: Daniel SprawsonZSL


The Grade II-listed aviary will be filled with monkeys rather than birds, if permission is granted

The colobus monkey troop will be moved from the Gorilla Kingdom to the aviary under the plans. Photo: ZSLThe colobus monkey troop will be moved from the Gorilla Kingdom to the aviary under the plans. Photo: ZSL

The Grade II-listed Snowdon Aviary, hovering above Regent’s Canal and Primrose Hill, hosts majestic birds, including white ibis and peacocks.

They will be moved out to other aviaries in the zoo, or even other zoos, under the plans.

London Zoo hopes that the new Colobus monkey enclosure will attract more schoolchildren and “new audiences” to the attraction.

The monkeys are originally from Africa, where they are hunted for their fur and meat.

The Snowdon Aviary celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and forms part of the view and landscape of Regent’s Canal and Primrose Hill.

Designed by Lord Snowdon, it is made out of aluminium and a giant net “skin” and was inspired by the movements of flying birds.

It was apparently never intended as a permanent structure.

The zoo commissioned architects Foster and Partners to give the aviary a “bold new makeover”.

They are, however, quite limited in what they can do as the famous structure is listed.

Their initial designs for the aviary have not yet been shared.

The zoo, a conservation charity, has secured the first stage of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to “modernise” the aviary.

ZSL’s director of fundraising, James Wren said: “The restoration of the Snowdon Aviary will put ZSL London Zoo at the heart of the community.

“As a charity, ZSL are reliant upon the generous support of our donors.

“We now have to raise the £2m in match-funding we will need to realise this exciting project and give the historic Snowdon Aviary a new purpose, enabling us to expand the Zoo’s education offering and provide many more activities for people of all ages to enjoy.”

The total cost of the project will be £7.1m.

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