About the Project

The Heart of the Zoo project includes the Cypress Circle Cafe and the Texas Wetlands Exhibit.

The Cypress Circle Café is a green restaurant-certified café that focuses on providing locally sourced, sustainable fares. The café was transformed into a signature gathering place for visitors while offering delicious and wholesome family meals. The 10,000 square foot (Servery 5,000 square feet; Kitchen 2,000 square feet; Indoor seating 2,400 square feet; Restrooms 600 square feet) also included covered outdoor seating (8,200 square feet under existing roof and 2,800 square feet under the new shaded area).

The Texas Wetlands exhibit engages visitors in the zoo’s breeding, monitoring, rehabilitation, and release programs with local species of birds, reptiles, bats, and pollinators; students can connect this exhibit with hands-on, in-the-field conservation work experienced through zoo-led education programs.

The Numbers

  • 21,000

    Sq Ft
  • 17 months


The Details

Type: Renovation
Components: Kitchen, servery
Method: Construction Manager at Risk
Sector(s): Community, Parks and Open Spaces
Client: Houston Zoo


  • Architect: Studio Hansen Roberts
  • MEP Engineer: Collaborative Engineering
  • Structural Engineer: MLA Engineering
  • Civil Engineer: Walter P. Moore & Associates

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