Zoo Knoxville


Client: Knoxville Zoological Gardens
Year: Ongoing


The principals at Johnson Architecture have been working at the Knoxville Zoo since 1989. The first of many projects was a two-phased, 6 acre master plan that provides a natural outdoor exhibit area for both gorillas and chimpanzees. The new holding facility provides state-of-the-art den and interactive areas as well as veterinary and quarantine facilities. In 1996, JAI began the design process of a new master plan for the Knoxville Zoological Gardens with an all day charrette. Since then, we have implemented several exhibits including, the Black Bear Falls, The Penguin Environment, The Traveling Exhibit Center, a state-of-the-art Health Clinic, the Grasslands Africa Elephant Preserve for the beloved “Tonka” and the newly renovated, interactive Giraffe exhibit.  As well, JAI designed the new front gate, the Wild Gifts shop, The Valley of the Kings Lion den and Kids Cove. The latest exhibit that we have the honor of designing is the new Malayan tigers (Panthera tigris jacksoni) Exhibit. Bashir and Tanvir are two of less than 50 Malayan Tigers in the US. The Zoo broke ground on a new home for the tigers in 2015. With less than 500 Malayan tigers left in the wild, this project is one of Knoxville Zoo’s most critical initiatives to help conserve an endangered species.


Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchid Award, 1996
Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchid Award, 2001 (entrance)


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