Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, designed by Studio Gang Arcgitects, is a project that transforms a picturesque urban pond from the 19th century into an ecological habitat buzzing with life. With the designâ€™s improvements to water quality, hydrology, landscape, accessibility, and shelter, the site is able to function as an outdoor classroom in which the co-existence of natural and urban surroundings is demonstrated.
A new boardwalk circumscribing the pond passes through various educational zones that explicate the different animals, plants, and habitat found in each. A pavilion integrated into the boardwalk sequence provides shelter for open-air classrooms on the site. Inspired by the tortoise shell, its laminated structure consists of prefabricated, bent-wood members and a series of interconnected fiberglass pods that give global curvature to the surface.