The Rollercoaster Aviary is sited in Suzhou’s Shishan Park, also known as Lion Mountain Park, at the foot of the mountain and on the edge of the lake. A new circular park promenade, 2 kilometers in length connects the Aviary with a variety of existing features and new social and poetic programs. Inspired by traditional Chinese ink paintings, the new form of the aviary, with Lion Mountain behind it, evokes the feeling of a layered misty mountain range.
A part of a larger master plan and revitalization for Lion Mountain Park in Suzhou China, the Aviary repurposes an abandoned rollercoaster into a 160,000 square-foot aviary. The existing rollercoaster structure is used as an armature to drape a new stainless-steel net enclosure to protect the curated wildlife. A series of elevated pathways and viewing platforms weave between the existing structure allowing visitors close access to the birds and provide privileged views to Lion Mountain as well as to the expansive development across the lake.
The Aviary is accessed at multiple points, through vestibules that sit on the park’s perimeter promenade as well as a lake-side entry. A new vertical circulation tower and green-roofed animal care facility are nested between the existing structure. A misted waterfall comes through an oculus in the sky-deck and operates in conjunction with a source of hidden misters throughout the lake. This aviary project reclaims this forgotten infrastructure and provides new curated avian habitats and wildlife programs within the larger ecological park.