Occupying a prominent place along the Philadelphia Zoo’s main entry path, Impala Cafe is a grab-and-go food venue offering drinks and snacks. The cafe forms a backdrop for Impala Plaza, an expansive open area used for informal zoo activities and special events. A deteriorated EIFS façade system on the 1987 Impala Cafe prompted the zoo to engage BKP for an exterior refresh. BKP took advantage of the opportunity to reclad the building for long-term durability and to introduce scale and monumentality in a prominent location, while supporting the zoo’s mission of animal welfare and sustainability. A new terra cotta rain screen and glazed aluminum curtain walls are accented by sloped wood-slat awnings. The renovation included new doors, counters and windows for the walk-up vendors. An abstract grass pattern etched on the new glass complements the Serengeti habitat of creatures depicted on the Impala Fountain and Impala Lawn. The etching deters birds from flying into the glass, supporting the zoo’s commitment to make its buildings bird friendly.
Images © Jeffrey Totaro