Snow Kreilich Architects has been partnering with the Minnesota Zoo since 2016 to reimagine the infrastructure for its decommissioned monorail as a new elevated pedestrian walkway and viewing platform. Linking exhibits to the south with undeveloped, forested environments in the northern half of the Zoo, the envisioned walkway will immerse visitors in a wonderland of natural elements and grant them unparalleled vantage points. Initially contracted to conduct a feasibility study, Snow Kreilich collaborated with Meyer Borgman Johnson to investigate structural capacity of the existing infrastructure. In this phase, Snow Kreilich developed a conceptual framework for the project with maps, diagrams, and renderings of the newly imagined Treetop Trail. This documentation became the basis for a successful marketing and fundraising campaign.
Currently under construction, Snow Kreilich has compiled an interdisciplinary team comprising Buro Happold, TEN x TEN Landscape Architects, Victus Engineering, Barr Engineering, MIG, and SIG to complete the design and documentation for the construction of this transformative trail. Not just an elevated walkway and overlook, the 1.25-mile-long trail incorporates four distinct “access points” to enhance the user experience, introduce the visitor to the Treetop Trail and overall mission of the Zoo, prioritize accessibility, and provide opportunities for respite, wayfinding, interpretation, and enhanced engagement of Zoo’s programming and exhibits.
See more at: treetoptrail.mnzoo.org