Sequoia Park Zoo Hires Architect: Concept Designs for River Otter, Salmon, and Bald Eagle Underway

SHR Watershed Heroes plan

SHR concept design sketch for Sequoia Park Zoo’s Watershed Heroes project

SHR at the zoo

Becca Hanson of SHR presents concept designs for Sequoia Park Zoo’s Watershed Heroes project.

SHR at the zoo

Zoo staff and representatives with members of Greenway Partners and SHR.

January 18, 2013

The Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of Studio Hanson/Roberts (SHR) as lead architect for its Watershed Heroes project. This project will showcase River otter, Bald eagle and salmon in their native habitats, along with an integrated “learning lab” classroom.

Seattle-based SHR, led by husband-and-wife team Becca Hanson and David Roberts, is a pioneer in the field of zoo design, with over 30 years of experience working of projects in North America and internationally. SHR uses a collaborative approach that combines the best technological and ecological methods to keep animals healthy while providing rich experiences for zoo visitors of all ages.

“Watershed Heroes is a project that we felt very connected to from the moment we learned about it,” says Becca Hanson. “Otters, salmon and eagle are species that are found in the watersheds of our home on Puget Sound, and we want to enable people to care for them the way we do.”

The goal of Watershed Heroes is to provide zoo visitors with an experience that empowers them to understand the connection between humans, our local watersheds and native wildlife “Like most zoo animal habitats, this is a technically complex project and requires architects specializing in zoo design,” says Sequoia Park Zoo Manager Gretchen Ziegler. “I am particularly pleased with the designers’ focus on animal welfare as the highest priority, closely aligned with a great visitor experience and learning opportunity. The wealth of experience they bring to Watershed Heroes will be of enormous value.”

Over the past week, SHR has led a collaborative design process at the Zoo that has resulted in a detailed conceptual design for project. “Complex projects like Watershed Heroes can only be effectively designed with input from a variety of stakeholders and facility users,” says Kirk Cohune of Greenway Partners, the Zoo’s Project Manager. In addition to the development of conceptual plans, the weeklong workshop included budget discussions and a timeline for refining the design and construction process for the project.

“Once the project is complete, visitors to Sequoia Park Zoo will be captivated by the story of these animals, our local watersheds and the connection we all feel to this beautiful area,” says Chuck Dominick, President of the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation. “SHR has exceeded our expectations with their design concepts for Watershed Heroes and we are thrilled to officially kick off this project.“

For more information about Studio Hanson/Roberts, visit

Contact:  Kirk Cohune, Project Manager
Phone:    (707) 822-0597
E-mail:    Cohune @


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