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Taronga Zoo shortlisted for the Darc Awards 2024

We are thrilled to announce that our project for the Taronga Zoo’s Nocturnal House has been shortlisted for the prestigious (d)arc lighting design awards this year!

Taronga Zoo’s Nocturnal House offers a unique chance to encounter some of Australia’s most elusive nocturnal creatures. Lighting plays an important role in the overall function of the area as the lighting is not only required to preserve animal welfare, but it also contributes to an engaging experience to guests, enhancing the aboriginal storytelling.

By simulating reverse day and night cycles, seasons and photoperiods that are thought to impact animal biocycles, our lighting design team has created an immersive experience and dramatic nighttime environment.

Significant time was spent one-to-one with the zookeepers, fine-tuning the aiming, lensing, and intensity of the spotlights, considering the visual field of the animals to minimise the impact on foraging, nesting, and breeding activities. As a result, a world-first tailored reverse circadian function was created in the Bluetooth control programming, to support animal welfare and cater for operational needs of the facility. The daylight simulation is programmed to finish for a consistent ‘wake-up’ time for the animals each day, allowing zookeepers to operate safely in the morning before guests arrive.

The Nocturnal House at Taronga Zoo is where the unique night-time fauna meets aboriginal story telling – As guests transition into the leafy forests and dappled light of dawn, leaf projections on the floor continue the narrative. The journey is completed by the flowing water and dawning light of the platypus pools and riverbanks.

All lighting designers are invited to vote, more information on this project and the (d)arc awards can be found here.

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