The birds

Aviary for exotic birds of Bois-de-la-Bâtie zoological garden


2007 - 2008

The birds

Measures to prevent the the introduction and spread of avian flu include the quarantining of farmed birds during migration periods and it is in this context that the two new aviaries have been
designed. The perimeter of the trees bordering the pond have dictated the plan shape, which is a concrete slab raised 9 m from the ground, forming an abstract roof that shelters the birds. The design of the sixteen pillars supporting it is based on the shape of the surrounding trees.

Their colours are also the result of the hues of the place: six different greys and greens shade these steel “trees”. The free form is presented as a volume that is difficult to grasp and intended to be used from multiple points of view for the sake of integration into the setting. “The project provides a structural engineering solution that reveals both its effectiveness
and the poetry evoked by its forms and its place in the landscape.

The natural simplicity expressed is the result of a sophisticated research process. A model study based on GaudÍ’s principle made
it possible to define the perfect shape of the funicular polygon of the 16 ‘tree pillars’, all different, which support the thin reinforced concrete roof slab. After trial and error, a fragile balance was
established between the many interacting components. The ‘trees’ thus transmit the loads to the foundations using only centred compressive forces. The pillars are made of steel tubes.

Despite their seemingly random nature, they are part of a very rigorous modular system that streamlines their manufacture and assembly. A modular grid of 1 m gives rhythm to the project and each tree is part of a rectangular parallelepiped with a 3 m by 3 m base and a height of 9 m. Their constant diameter of 152 mm makes the assemblies geometrically defined, avoiding the complexity of intersections; the result is more fluid, natural and
logical shapes for building.” (Gabriele Guscetti)

group8, The birds, Geneva, 2007 - 2008


Birds aviary
Anatidae species aviary


City of Geneva

Commission type


Photo credits

©Dgbp David Gagnebin-de Bons & Benoît Pointet, ©Régis Golay, FEDERAL studio, Geneva