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Sacramento Zoo Giraffe Barn and Viewing Deck

The Giraffe Barn and Viewing Deck project was a response to the Zoo’s expanding giraffe program, which resulted in a new state-of-the-art giraffe housing and care facility and elevated viewing deck for Zoo visitors. The textures, material and details are rustic and refined with an aesthetic gesture to the color of the giraffes. The giraffe motif is reinforced by using giraffe profiles in the structural brackets at the viewing platform and on the shutters of the barn.

The design intent was to invite the Zoo visitor into the world of the giraffe by placing a viewing deck that is surrounded on three sides by the giraffe exhibit roaming area. The deck is raised and accessed by an elegant dual ramp, transitioning visitors into the expansive space and views into the giraffe’s taller world. Adults and children alike meet these incredible animals eye-to-eye, providing a hands-on and up-close experience that both raises awareness of giraffes and promotes future participation in giraffe conservation efforts.


  • Programming
  • Architectural Design
  • Construction Documenta­tion
  • Construction Support


  • 2011 National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) / ICIP Design Awards – Judges Honorable Mention

In the News:


Sacramento Zoological Society


Sacramento, CA


Giraffe Barn: 3,765 s.f.


February 2010