The expansion of the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden has been on the agenda of city officials for quite awhile now, with plans including a massive new indoor enclosure to house a variety of exotic animals. We wrote about the release of the project’s first visual plans for the future biodome last fall, and now it seems that the sprawling new complex, to be called Pannon Park, will be completed by 2020 by the Market Építő Zrt. construction firm.
Last year, the Budapest Zoo celebrated its 150th birthday, and recently the historic menagerie announced the launch of several new developments. After four years of planning, the building of Pannon Park – featuring a massive biodome to house exotic animals from habitats with warmer climates – will finally begin in the near future. The facility’s indoor and outdoor parks, set to be completed by 2020, will present ancient flora and fauna of the Carpathian Basin by exhibiting present-day descendants of plants and animals that occupied this area 10-12 million years ago.
The climate was much warmer here in prehistoric times, so the park will mainly house animals that are now exotic, such as elephants, rhinos, hippos, and monkeys from Old World continents, mainly Eurasian and African territories. The special enclosed biodome will boast a territory of 1.7 hectares inside the approximately five-hectare Pannon Park terrain. Besides the spectacular display of animals and educational opportunities, the park’s greatest advancement will be providing exotic animals with environmental conditions that are similar to their natural habitats.
The most recent restoration and modernization works in the Budapest Zoo took place in 2008, but further expansion of the park became possible after the closure of Budapest’s Amusement Park, as the zoo took over its 6.5-hectare space in a corner of City Park. Two plans were submitted for the tender announced for the expansion: one from STRABAG-MML Magas- és Mérnöki Létesítmény Építő Kft., and one from Market Építő Zrt. However, the first round was unsuccessful due to both submissions exceeding the predicted budget; in the second round, the plans of Market Építő Zrt. triumphed.