ECO-CLIFF: Vertical Zoo Competition Proposal

In Buenos Aires, from a tiny man-made island that once held a landfill, may rise an unprecedented ‘vertical zoo’ – like a skyscraper for animals that must be at once beautiful, organic and functional for both its inhabitants and zoo visitors. A competition for the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve is sought creative solutions and this proposal, called ‘ECO-CLIFF’, is a towering habitat meant to resemble a natural cliff that would also provide nesting ground for migratory birds.

It may seem highly unnatural to house wildlife in such an urban structure, reaching high into the sky rather than spreading out onto acre after acre of land. What ECO-CLIFF aims to do is recreate a cliff habitat for the types of animals that would naturally be living in such an environment. However, it’s not clear whether the designers also intended for common zoo animals with a need for a large amount of space to be housed in this design.

Envisioned by Hila Davidpu, Tal Gazit, Eli Gotman and Hofi Harari, ECO-CLIFF features a footpath winding around an inner core of animal enclosures, all within a net-like steel shell that lets in air and sunlight as well as a controlled amount of rainwater in certain areas. The nets and cables support vegetation that gives the tower a more natural feel, and select pockets serve as open-air nesting for the birds.

Visitors reach the tower in cable cars connected to the public transportation system, and can then take in an even more spectacular view on a high-level observation deck.

See all entries for the Buenos Aires Vertical Zoo competition at


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