Polar Passage & Primate Forest
Oregon Zoo
Portland, Oregon

From 2010 – 2012 Main Street Design served as lead interpretive planners on the multidisciplinary team developing a comprehensive master plan for the Oregon Zoo. In 2016 we returned to Portland to design interpretive experiences and environments for two major components of that plan: a ground-breaking new polar bear exhibit, and a dramatic reimagining and expansion of the Zoo’s existing great ape exhibits.

Polar Passage builds on the remarkable work of Oregon’s polar bear husbandry staff, in partnership with Polar Bears International and USGS, studying captive bears and applying what they’ve learned to better understand and support wild polar bear populations increasingly threatened by global warming. Primate Forest showcases chimpanzees, orangutans and gibbons, exploring the catastrophic effects of deforestation on the world’s primate species. Together, these two projects approach a new paradigm for zoo exhibits, presenting captive animals as true conservation partners.

Project Partners

CLR Design
architecture and animal exhibit design
landscape achitecture