09:05 Tonga ferry sinking

John Hogan, Director of the Regional Maritime Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific community, which oversees shipping in the region; and Paul Karalus, Tonga's Minister of Transport.

09:20 Alcohol fuels increased problems at hospital

Paul Quigley from Capital Coast District Health Board. Alcohol causing increasing problems at hospital.

09:30 The Secret Suffragette

David Griffiths, composer of opera The Secret Suffragette about his great grandmother, Mary Muller, who campaigned for married women's property rights in NZ in the late 1800s.

Performances are from August 20th - 22nd 2009 at the WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts at Waikato University

09:45 Europe correspondent

10:05 The Coral Triangle

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg was the first scientist to verify the link between global warming and coral bleaching. His work now focuses on the Coral Triangle. The mass of coral reefs north of Australia supports millions of people - but with coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification, over fishing and pollution - those people will become refugees over the next 100 years - mirgating to Australia and NZ.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is the Foundation Professor and Director of the Centre for Marine Studies at The University of Queensland. His blog is: www.climateshifts.org.

10:30 Book Review with Harry Broad

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson
Published by Century

10:45 Reading. The Captain Kiwi Show - a short story by Carl Nixon

A man looks back to the time when his father was a well known television character called Captain Kiwi.

11:05 Politics with Andrew Campbell and Matthew Hooton

11:30 Guest chef Josh Emett, Chef de Cuisine for Gordon Ramsay at The London Hotel in New York and Los Angeles and wine commentator Stephen Morris.

Recipes: Butternut Squash veloute with curry roasted scallops and Apple Tarte Tatin.

11:45 Urbanist Tommy Honey


The Elephant in the Room By Jesse Smith
The World of Darkness
The Berlin Zoo's Ostrich House
The Philadelphia Zoo's Elephant House
Carl Hagenbeck's Tierpark
The London Zoo's Penguin Pool
The Berlin Zoo's hippopotamus enclosure
New York Aquarium competition finalist
New York Aquarium competition winning design
Copenhagen Aquarium competition winning design
Wellington Zoo's Wild Theatre
Auckland Zoo's primate trail

Zoo Design

In an on-line article in "The Smart Set" put out by Drexel University, Jesse Smith misses the recently closed " World of Darkness" at the Bronx Zoo, not least because the architecture of the World of Darkness is one of the most fascinating.

The World of Darkness:

· built in 1969.

· has no windows, and from above looks like a giant letter C;

· the exterior is made up of tall, narrow gray stone panels of varying heights, which pitch inward.

· there's nothing goofy or frenetic about it.

· It is not austere or staid or "classic" in any historic way.

As a field, the architecture of zoos is a funny thing. Zoo buildings usually reflect a negotiation between what's designed for animals, and what's designed for humans.


19th Century

You can usually tell which is winning by where and when you stand in the history of the zoo.

  • European zoos of the late 19th and early 20th centuries incorporated the visual cultures of their animals' native homes into ornate buildings - reflections of their nations' colonial aspirations.
  • The Berlin Zoo's ostrich house resembled an Egyptian temple, with large columns flanking the entrance and scenes of ostrich hunts decorating the exterior.
  • Berlin's elephant enclosure was built in the spirit of a Hindu temple;
  • the home for its giraffes adopted an Islamic architectural style.
  • These zoos were no home for subtlety: The animals they contained were exotic to most visitors; the buildings that did the containing reinforced the sensation.
  • The antelope, elephant, and carnivore houses at the Philadelphia Zoo were built as elaborate Victorian structures

These buildings were pleasing to visitors.

  • To animals, not so much.
  • Elephants tend to be indifferent toward Victorian architecture, lions and tigers to the Beaux-Arts style.
  • The animals prefer, instead, more space than the buildings' respective pens and cages allowed.
  • As concern for the health and interests of animals grew over the course of the 20th century, the built landscape of zoos transformed in response.
  • new construction and renovations to existing structures aimed to provide zoo's collections with homes that more closely resembled what the animals would encounter in the wild.

20th Century

The German animal dealer Carl Hagenbeck is credited with creating the first naturalistic live animal displays:

  • At his private Tierpark, outside Hamburg, Hagenbeck used hidden moats to create panoramas free of bars and fences, with multiple species appearing to live side-by-side.
  • American zoos slowly adopted Hagenbeck's idea.

In the 1930s, a network of architects and designers in London began exploring the relationship between the natural world and the built environment.

  • administrators with an interest in modernist architecture hired the Tecton firm - led by Berthold Lubetkin - to design new structures for its gorillas and penguins.
  • Tecton made the first a circular building with one half exposed to the elements: The gorillas occupied the enclosed half in winter; in summer, the entire structure rotated to give the animals full reign of the space.
  • The former penguin exhibit is even more noteworthy:
  • A stark, white ellipses of concrete, its central pool is covered by two ramps that wove in slow arcs.
  • The geometric basis of the design made a dramatic presentation of the animals; its color suggested health and hygiene
  • The designer [Lubetkin] argued that "the most unlikely animals seem to thrive under what would seem the most unnatural conditions [provided that they] gain freedom from enemies, regular food and general hygiene." The same would hold for workers and the poor who were in desperate need of being liberated from their "natural" condition of criminal and filthy slums...The health and welfare of people and animals were of equal concern, and the new architecture was to promote it.

Zoos And Socialist Architecture

If the zoo seems an unlikely site of socialist ideology that's because it has come to be an unlikely home for any value but the conservation of wildlife; prevailing wisdom is that such a value isn't best expressed by geometric forms or large gray slabs or Victorian gables, but by design that mimics wilderness.


  • In the 1970s, a desire for an even more true-to-life home for zoo animals and a more meaningful experience for visitors led to the current trend in zoo design: landscape immersion.
  • Seen at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo the movement believes it's not enough to allow animals to live out-of-doors; they should be in environments that resemble their native habitats, and grouped not with their types, but with their geographical and climactic peers.
  • Visitors, as well, should feel that they've stepped into what was a previously inaccessible environment, with elements of the enclosure bleeding out into the public space.

21st Century

The design of animal enclosures has taken over the architecture of zoos:

  • nature itself has become the guiding architectural style at most Western zoos.
  • At one time, nobody minded acknowledging through overt architecture that animals were, indeed, being contained and displayed;
  • now, the fewer signs of humans acting on animals, the better.

The Berlin Zoo's hippopotamus enclosure, built in 1997:

· is a tree-ringed lake covered by a soaring glass dome with a diamond-patterned support structure that undulates.

In 2006, the New York Aquarium:

· launched a competition to redesign the exterior of its Coney Island home.

· The finalists included plans for a giant pink jellyfish with spiraling tendrils that create an open pavilion several stories high.

· The winning design reframes the structure with a long, tall fence that mimics the waves of sand and sea; a dune conceals an underground parking lot.

A Danish firm's winning design for the new Denmark Aquarium:

· set to open in Copenhagen in 2013 is a giant pinwheel.

· based on biological flows: "the whirl streams of the sea, shoals of fish, and swirling starlings turning the sky black," according to the firm. Wilderness becomes, then, not the goal, but the inspiration.

The Berlin, Copenhagen, and New York designs suggest that:

· compelling zoo architecture need not come at the expense of animals.

· Such variety reveals the complex relations we have with animals and, more broadly, nature.

· There is no one single way of looking at, experiencing, or using the natural world, but that's what's suggested by zoo design that frames every experience in identical ways.

· Contextualizing one of our most common intersections with the natural world through the World of Darkness or the Reptile House or a giant pink jellyfish makes the event not only more interesting, but also more honest

New Zealand Zoo Architecture

  • The Auckland Zoo has long been building exhibits - the Primate Trail, the Hippo River - that replicate the environments of the animals
  • Wellington Zoo has gone one step further creating interactive buildings that acknowledge the presence of people as observers - the Wild Theatre that creates an auditorium out of a hillside