Royal Zoological Society win consent for Cairngorms gateway
January 12 2022
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has won approval for the erection of a discovery hub at the Highland Wildlife Park, creating a new gateway to the Cairngorms National Park.
Comprising an enlarged restaurant and shop with a wildlife and night sky monitoring station the development by Baxter Studio spans three buildings designed using locally sourced and sustainable materials where possible.
In approving the project the planning authority said: "The proposal is considered to accord with the aims of the Cairngorms National Park. The proposal complies with the relevant provisions of the development plan and there are no material considerations that indicate otherwise."
Encompassing a natural stone base with inset timber seating and vertical Douglas-Fir cladding the main Discovery Hub sits under a dark green zinc roof that extends beyond the building footprint to form a covered outdoor exhibition space. This will be joined by a curved Learning Hub and Hilltop observatory which utilise the same materials palette.
The existing centre will be reconfigured but otherwise remain in place with new screen walls to help unify the appearance of new and old elements.