A view inside the Arctic Tundra polar bear exhibit at the Lincoln Zoo. A public viewing area looks into the pool, half above and half under water, where the polar bears can swim in cool blue water.

Arctic Tundra Exhibits at the Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo recently opened the new $15 million Walter Family Arctic Tundra exhibit to the public. The new 11,000-square-foot zoological park exhibit includes both wet and dry Polar Bear habitats. The main view windows provide guests with a split view from underwater and into the dry exhibit space from the same vantage point. Rock cliff waterfalls, a stream, and gradients terraced by shotcrete rock escarpment create unique terrain for the bears to explore. The cast concrete dive pool is embellished with naturalistic rockwork, which formulates a seamless transition to the pool deck. The second southern viewing area is located within a replicated cave. The view window allows patrons a view of the entire exhibit. The ice cave area adds to the immersive feeling as an air-cooling mechanism provides a chilly interior space.

The south shelter also includes a ten-square-foot training wall where guests can witness keeper training sessions. Although the exhibit is currently only inhabited by one bear, it was designed to support a breeding pair and cubs.

COST’s Work on Zoological Parks and Zoo Habitats

COST of Wisconsin, Inc. services included shop drawings, scale models, engineering, and constructing the replicated rock and water features to simulate an arctic environment.

The project team also included Interactive Design Architects (IDEA), The Portico Group, and general contractor Pepper Construction.

Browse more of COST’s work in zoological parks below.