Quinn Evans Architects was selected through a design competition among four pre-selected firms for the major revitalization of the Bird House facility at the National Zoological Park. The project will feature Marvelous Migrations, a major exhibit that encompasses the historic Bird House, Great Flight Cage, Bird House Plateau, and the surrounding area. The project will follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation to maintain the historic exterior appearance of the original Bird House and replace its missing main entry. The exhibit will interpret the amazing story of bird migration and the science behind it. The venue will provide a global perspective of bird migration and reflect the NZP’s mission of excellence in animal exhibition and sustainable husbandry. 
 
QEA is teamed with The Portico Group, an interdisciplinary firm with expertise in zoo exhibit design and landscape architecture. Most recently, the firms collaborated on the new Seal and Sea Lion Exhibit and Life Support Facility which is the largest part of the American Trail at the National Zoological Park and opened in September 2012. “We look forward to engaging in collaborative design with the talented professionals of The Portico Group again,” said Larry Barr, AIA, QEA Principal-in-Charge for the project. “The synergies and dynamic between our firms will ensure another ground-breaking exhibit at the National Zoo.” 
 
The interpretive design for Marvelous Migrations will offer memorable visitor experiences through immersive animal viewing opportunities, engaging interactive exhibits, multi-media, citizen science outposts, and sculpture. The team was selected based on preliminary conceptual designs developed as part of the competition which involved interactive workshops with Smithsonian and Zoo project stakeholders. 
 
“Birds are remarkable. They share our local ecosystems and also connect us to the global environment through their migration activities,” according to QEA Principal Alyson Steele, AIA, LEED AP who will serve as Project Manager. “We look forward to bringing new life and excitement to the Bird House and Great Flight Cage, and will be working in the NZP tradition of maintaining and enhancing important architectural and site character elements while integrating state of the art visitor experience, research, and animal care facilities.” 
 
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo was established on March 2, 1889, by an Act of Congress for “the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people.” Its mission is to provide leadership in animal care, science, education, and sustainability. Today, the National Zoo exhibits living animal and plant collections and conducts groundbreaking research in conservation biology and reproductive science. Each year, more than two million people visit the National Zoo’s 163-acre park in the heart of Washington, D.C., to learn about more than 2,000 animals on exhibit representing nearly 400 species. As the National Zoo prepares to celebrate the 120th anniversary of its establishment in 1889, its leadership in animal care, science, conservation research, education, and sustainability is as vital as ever if humankind is to save what remains of the Earth’s biological diversity. 
 
Quinn Evans Architects currently holds an Indefinitely Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contract with the Smithsonian Institution, under which this project will be performed. The firm is currently working on other ongoing projects at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and National Museum of the American Indian. Additional recent project experience with Smithsonian Institution includes the Space Use Master Plan and the Sant Ocean Hall in the NMNH.