M Worldwide has created a new indoor visitor centre for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, in Bedfordshire, which it says acts as a “pivotal hub” at the attraction.
The new visitor centre features ticketing facilities, a café and the zoo shop. M Worldwide says it aims to be a “destination location” for local residents, not just for those on a day out at the zoo.
The consultancy says it has built on the existing Whipsnade Zoo identity to “allow it to flex into the 3D environment and wayfinding – ensuring that everything centres around the zoo’s ‘let’s work for wildlife’ messaging.”
A large outdoor landscaped piazza leads visitors from the car park to the new visitor centre, while the interiors have been designed to be “open and fluid” according to M Worldwide.
The consultancy says: “As the centre operates on many levels, it’s been designed with special attention to customer flow for the zoo’s many and varied visitors – from small individual groups to school parties and coaches.”
David Martin, joint managing director of M Worldwide, says: “Food and beverage and retail are a critical part of the visitor’s day out and the concept of ‘Exit through the gift shop’ is a thing of the past.
“Our aim was to create a seamless experience so people can make the most of their day out – from the moment they park their cars to their time spent in the Visitor Centre with its café, gift shop, ticketing, and adoptions areas.”
Martin adds: “Zoos are all about the outdoors, and the shop reflects this, with its glass and inventive use of simple materials. We’ve blurred the boundaries between exterior and interior by using similar materials and colour palettes in both areas.”