Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, 2011-2012 Graduation Projects

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Nadine Schiller Primadomus

Landscape Architecture

A safe haven for mistreated primates and large felines Primadomus consists of a refuge for mistreated apes and large felines, and an information centre. Primadomus is also the entrance to the breathtaking nature preserve called Sierra de Salinas. Located in Spain, Primadomus lies along the transition from the extensive wooded mountain landscape of Sierra de Salinas to the lower valley. The area is bisected by a system of barrancos (dry riverbeds) that are dry in the summer, but in the winter they transform quickly into rapid streams as rainfall from the north-east crosses the area. Visitors at the centre can learn about the Sierra de Salinas, and can find out more about providing refuge for and resocialising mistreated, exotic animals. From the information centre, a trail leads past a barranco towards the Sierra de Salinas. This track crosses the terrain of Primadomus. The Primadomus refuge is designed according to the principle of ‘landscape immersion’ whereby the shelters are integrated as much as possible into the landscape, but in an innovative manner. The animal parks designed according to this principle are often introverted worlds where various landscapes are imitated in an artificial manner, complete with concrete rock formations and imitation trees. The parks have little or no relation to the context. As a reaction to such places, Primadomus is integrated as much as possible into the existing landscape. Animals are not classified according to origins or species but according to the wishes and demands of the animals in terms of their shelter requirements. No new landscapes are built. Instead, the existing landscape accommodates the animals. The importance of the animals and the quality of the landscape count most of all. Thanks to the application of just one of the ‘landscape immersion’ principles — namely the elimination of barriers between shelters and of interior shelters — visitors enjoy the feeling of being on a safari in the Spanish landscape. Making the shelters as big as possible means that the animals have enough space to hide from visitors, and thus the animals at Primadomus enjoy the prospect of the best possible future. A walk through Primadomus does not guarantee a glimpse of the apes. Instead, visitors will really have to do their best to see the animals.

Graduation date 10 07 2012

Commission members Harma Horlings (mentor) Jana Crepon Paul Achterberg

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Additional members for the examination Rik de Visser Rob van Leeuwen