Also known as the Northern Aviary, this is the largest and most spectacular aviary in London Zoo and was built in 1962-65 as a result of Sir Hugh Casson’s 1958 redevelopment plan of the Zoo known as ‘The New Zoo’ as a replacement for the Great Aviary of 1888, the site of which is now occupied by the Michael Sobell Pavilions for Apes and Monkeys. It was Britain’s first walk-through aviary and was designed to allow the public close up views of birds in different number of habitats.
The aviary was pioneering on two fronts; it is a large tension structure and it is largely made of aluminium.
The aviary designs were by Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon) and Cedric Price, with some of the funding provided by Jack Cotton. The engineer was Frank Newby, of Felix Samuely and Partners, with landscape architects Margaret Maxwell and Peter Shepheard. The contractor was Leonard Fairclough Limited. It comprises an aluminium and steel frame with mesh cladding and concrete foundations, and measures 45 metres by 19 metres with a maximum height of 24 metres.
Public circulation within the interior was along the main axis following a zig zag path, the central section of which comprises a cantilevered reinforced concrete bridge. The interior has been landscaped to include waterfalls, ponds and pools. Birds ranging from birds of prey to waterfowl have been housed here.
The Photography of Eric de Maré via The Telegraph