Conceptual solution for Berane Zoo

by / tag , ,

In collaboration with the architectural bureau 80/88 and local consultants and experts in zoology, landscaping and lightning, FOUR+ created a conceptual urban-architectural solution for the zoo and the associated contact zone in Berane, Montenegro.

The area of the zoo is located on the banks of the Lim River. They have proposed design solutions for the following areas: Zoo with CITES center, Lim River embankment, recreational area near a lake.

The project is based on the idea of a magical island where people and animals co-live. This island is a wild nature world, so the zoo becomes a point of connection between humans and animals. They preserved the concept of a surprise throughout the project: in the green thickets it’s possibile to see a tiger or a game stand, and after a bend you can enjoy ice cream.

Consultations with a zoologist allowed to increase the area of animal enclosures. This will allow people to observe animals in their natural environment, and zoo administrations to apply for membership in EARAZA (Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

The starting point and the source of inspiration was the pebbles that frame the Lim River. By simplifying the silhouette of the pebbles, they get irregular polyhedrons that form complex geometric pattern. This pattern represents a river whose movement is similar to the pedestrian flow. They get an easy-to-implement and visually spectacular silhouette of landscaping.

There are five important points for the design solution of the zoo:

  1. Walking route is an inclusive path with elevations and platforms where people can observe animals. The main route is 3 meters wide, it passes through the entire zoo and connects all the main expositions and interactive patches. Besides the main route there is a network of small various paths: walk-through habits, forest path and bridges. The routes are made in hard surfaces without joints, which allows visitors to move around in a wheelchair.
  1. They made a children’s layer, that is an educational route, supplemented with stands with information about animals, presented in a playful way. Throughout the route, there are small natural areas for recreation of parents. The final point of the route is a playground next to the restaurant.

    They divided the playground into two ages: 0-4 years old and 5-14 years old, due to the different needs. The younger ones need to be close to the parents, and they like to play role-playing games (daughters-mothers, seller), or play with sand or perform repetitive actions (roll down the hill many times, swing on a swing). Older children need to learn how to communicate with other children, be active, climb, run, and study the behaviour of their bodies in space. For this, they provide a play complex where the equipment allows children to live the impressions received at the zoo. They can climb like a monkey or a tiger, gallop like a deer, or play in a stream like a bear.

  1. Landscaping and geoplastics contribute to climate control, trees shield from the wind and provide shade in the heat. The existing landscaping has been preserved as much as possible. They supplement it with a selection of plants and trees in accordance with the vegetation characteristic of animal’s habitat.
  1. Inclusion is important part of the project. Routes and viewpoints are designed with access for people with limited mobility. The playground implies a joint game, they do not use equipment that excludes someone from the game.
  1. Lighting is located only in places of recreation. The zoo is not illuminated, as natural daylight is important for animals. The materials and shape of the pavilions were inspired by traditional Montenegrin architecture. Thanks to this, architectural solutions delicately fit into the context of nature and the city.

The main idea for zoo lighting is to create a comfortable light environment for humans and minimal intrusion into nature. In collaboration with Cultura Sveta they have deduced several principles of lighting that they would like to use in the project:

  • Lighting of buildings at the entrance to the zoo. To maintain the architectural composition of buildings, it is proposed to use lens lamps with 360° light distribution installed in window openings.
  • Lighting in public areas in the zoo and in the riverfront area. Cylindrical bollards and floor lamps create a soft, comfortable light.
  • Playgrounds lighting. They use the most flexible lighting method – spotlights on a support. They choose wooden support that they will not stand out from the general context and merge with the material of the playground equipment, emphasizing the naturalness of the territory.
  • Lighting of the pedestrian and bicycle paths on the embankment. Lighting using cantilever luminaires with wide road optics provides the uniform light required for comfortable practicability.

Project details

Design: FOUR+
Project Location: Berane, Montenegro
Typology: Zoo, public space
Design year: 2023
Partner: Anastasia Rychkova, Anna Rodionova, Alexandra Tchertkova, Bella Filatova
Architect: Anna Mayorova, Ekaterina Britvina, Olga Paramonova, Victoria Markovnikova
Landscape architect: Elena Cherepanova
Collaborator: 80/88 (Team: Segienko Nikita, Savelyev Anton, Bolotin Alexey, Silaeva Daria, Yandrennikova Anna)
Zoologist consultant: Alexei Podturkin
Landscape engineer: Aleksey Sayanov
Lightning: Kultura sveta
Local consultant: Arch. Dušan Jovanović (Architectural buro ’’DOO ID PLUS’’)
3D visualisation: © Andrei Saiko



Four women architects with important experience in different fields founded the architectural bureau FOUR+ in Belgrade. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life creating a comfortable urban environment. They design spaces for people by applying a multidisciplinary approach. They make innovations, elaborate new methods and standards, spotting current trends. An important area of their expertise is designing children’s educational spaces and working with children as legitimate co-authors of urban facilities. They make all their projects adapted to be used by children the same way as by adults. They operate at the junction of architecture and social psychology to obtain a result that best meets the expectations of customers, including to increase the marketing attractiveness of projects and offer the most sustainable solutions.