Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG is reinventing the zoo. The typical approach would be to design the space as a place where humans walk freely and the animals have smaller areas where they are displayed during open hours.
In Zootopia, the design BIG came up with to improve the 1960s-designed Givskund Zoo in Denmark, the animals were the ones given a freer range to roam, and each species will be placed in a topography modeled after their natural habitat. In fact, any form of man-made architectural component is designed to be least intrusive as possible by hiding the viewing decks within the topography.
The only prominent artificial-looking structure would be the circular crate that acts as an entry and welcoming station. From there, visitors have three other gates they can choose from: sailing in Asia, biking in Africa or flying in America (by cable car, that is).
More information and renderings on the project can be found on BIG's website.