Big Cat Falls

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

EHDD transformed the 1950s Carnivora House into Big Cat Falls, a 28,000 sf indoor and outdoor exhibit showcasing Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopards, African lions, jaguars, and cougars—creating immersive, up close animal encounters. When it opened in 2006, it was the first new permanent exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo in seven years.

Integrating the new design with the original stone buildings, EHDD created an abstract backdrop for highly immersive habitats with streams, splash pools, waterfalls and other water features for the benefit of animals and visitors alike. New glazed pavilions allow intimate proximity to the animals, and visitors can watch the movement of the big cats through overhead “shift enclosures” between the habitats—which allow them to share spaces periodically to stimulate their senses. The exhibit also provides a glimpse into the cutting-edge, behind-the-scenes care facility.


Philadelphia Zoo


28,000 sf


2007 Top Exhibit Award - Association of Zoos and Aquariums