With around 1.3 million visitors per year, the Leipzig zoo is one of the favorite animal parks in Germany. In order to provide the zoo's visitors with enough parking, a competition was held in 2002 for the design of a parking garage with an attractive as well as economical design concept. The parking garage was supposed to express a unity with the adjacent zoo grounds. As a result, the designers sought with bamboo a facade material that would both make reference to the exotic world of the zoo and lend the structure a soft and haptic impression. HPP architects developed the notion of a shell was chosen as a central concept in a three-day workshop. They received the first prize in the buildign competition and built the garage between 2002 and 2004.
The car park with its unusual bamboo facade prepares the visitor for the zoo experience. The garage is wrapped with bamboo sticks placed in intervals of 7.5 cm. Only opposite of the zoo entrance a staircase with a glazed facade opens the structure up. In addition to its decorative properties the bamboo functions as a railing. The building is stabilized through conventional means and materials.
The car park consists of five levels, 527 parking spaces with awidth of 2.50 metres and two entry and exit barriers to allow rapid access and exit. The column-free interior allows for additional flexibility. The park has two opposing staircases, a representative stairwell with access to the main entrance and a rescue stairway.