The Antwerp Zoo has been a city landmark through centuries. Naturally, the design for
the grand café was therefore linked to the history of this impressive location. The grandeur, the charm and the function of the initial building were carefully preserved throughout the design process.


The zoo opened in 1843, right in the middle of the Belle Époque. This was a very nostalgic era. The period before WW1 was bulging with discoveries. It was the time of the colonies and subsequently, of exotic influences. Even though the Flamingo grand café is a modern interpretation, it aims to share this history with its visitors. In a stylish manner, some antique cupboards were filled with all kinds of treasures from the Zoo’s archives. The result? A true treasure trove that feels like it was flown in from times past.
The bistro part of the space directly descends from the Belle Époque, with a modern update of course. How? A pink cement tile floor, pink panelling, custom made brass lighting combined with specially designed graphics. The absolute eye catcher is the 14m long flamingo fresco on the ceiling. This particularly dramatic graphic literally brings the zoo inside. It’s almost a pity to go outside… (No we didn’t really say that of course: go kids, GO!)
The orangery with its colonial atmosphere is characterised by its black and white draughtboard pattern, cane furniture, cosy salons and big palm trees. Almost literally, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a big aviary garden. Tea anyone?



Do you want to take a closer look at the graphics created for this project? Check them out here!
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