Get an unrestricted access to all the blog and those extraodinary functions that can help your business grow in a continuously changing industry.

Register & subscribe to a premium membership! Register
Subscribe for 9.9 EUR/month Subscribe now
Subscribe special price for 99 EUR/year Subscribe now
Select categories
Select cities

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, the UK’s largest Zoo, has opened its new indoor Visitor Centre. Retail strategy and brand experience agency M Worldwide has devised and designed the entire visitor journey. The new centre acts as a pivotal hub that allows people to prepare for their day out, make added value purchases to enhance it, and come back to it throughout their visit. The centre also aims to be a destination location for local residents and cycling enthusiasts in the area, not just those out for a day at the Zoo. Visitors are led from the parking area to the new light and airy Visitor Centre via a large outdoor landscaped piazza. The centre allows easy and convenient access to tickets and other facilities before entering the Zoo – so people can treat themselves to a coffee and cake in the cosy café, make membership enquiries, use the toilets, or browse the extended range in the shop at any time during their visit.

M Worldwide has built on ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s pre-existing visual identity to allow it to flex into the 3D environment and way-finding – ensuring that everything centres around the Zoo’s ‘Let’s Work for Wildlife’ messaging and that it is connected to the Zoo experience itself. The agency has also looked at how future activities and events in the piazza and Visitor Centre could look and feel, such as Farmers’ Markets pop up kiosks, seasonal installations, and interactive play areas linked back to zoo exhibits.

David Martin, Joint Managing Director at M Worldwide, said: “Food & Beverage and retail are a critical part of the visitor’s day out and the concept of ‘Exit through the gift shop’ is a thing of the past. Our aim was to create a seamless experience so people can make the most of their day out – from the moment they park their cars to their time spent in the Visitor Centre with its café, gift shop, ticketing, and adoptions areas. Zoos are all about the outdoors, and the shop reflects this, with its glass and inventive use of simple materials. We’ve blurred the boundaries between exterior and interior by using similar materials and colour palettes in both areas.”

The Visitor Centre’s interior is open and fluid, allowing visitors to easily explore all areas across the space. As the centre operates on many levels, it’s been designed with special attention to customer flow for the Zoo’s many and varied visitors, especially during busy periods – from small individual groups to school parties and coaches. It’s also a destination for retail and special events – a showcase for the Zoo which encourages longer and repeat visits.

Kathryn England, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s Head of Commercial, said: “M Worldwide has created a fun, magical journey from the very start of our visitors’ arrival. The retail space and its product offering is about active engagement, rather than just taking home souvenirs – it’s all about trying to extend the experience beyond the Zoo itself and into people’s homes, with items like bird feeders and plants on offer.The agency’s approach promotes an enduring, positive, and differentiated fun day out for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s diverse visitors – which we’re confident will promote return visits and increase dwell time.”

Design: M Worldwide

Add to collectionAdd to collection