As a landscaper, your job is to ensure customers’ expectations are met through the projects you complete. But what if your customers’ lives depended on the viability of the plants selected and installed? That was the challenge for the extensive team that brought Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo to life in downtown Chicago.
Nestled within Lincoln Park Zoo is what many consider the ultimate “green” space: a natural landscaped area with individual ecosystems designed especially for native animals from the upper Midwest. Though the $13.9 million project includes traditional learning features and animal exhibits, the children’s zoo was designed to pay homage to foliage and natural resources, as well as transport visitors from the hectic city to the natural environment of the Northern Woods.
Teamwork makes the difference
After several years of planning and two years of construction and installation, Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo is the result of what landscape architect Mark A. Robertson, ASLA calls a true collaborative effort.
“As a landscape architect for 20-plus years, typically we get asked to come in after everything is designed and constructed,” says Robertson, owner of MESA Landscape Architects in Little Rock, Arkansas. “By contrast, this project was very collaborative. We met every two to three weeks throughout the process