Oklahoma City Zoo Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital


The Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital at the Oklahoma City Zoo offers visitors behind the scenes views of what it takes to keep animals healthy. The $9.2 million hospital is one of only a handful of zoos around the country that provides the public the opportunity to observe procedures ranging from preventative health exams to surgeries. The 2-story 20,000 SF facility includes a visitor gallery, surgical areas, pharmacy, radiology room, food-preparation area, labs, isolation rooms, necropsy room, and even a furnished apartment where staff or visiting veterinarians can stay overnight. From the gallery level, visitors are able to engage with interactive kiosks and observe the veterinarians and staff at work through large windows overlooking the Surgical Suite, Radiology Lab, and Treatment Room.

This project received a 2016 American Institute of Architects Central Oklahoma Merit Design Award.

Jury Comments: “The jury appreciated that the complexity of this program is well resolved in plan and that the overall plan articulation provides opportunities for several outdoor rooms for the public to access. The material palette seems very fitting to its context and the building exhibits a wonderful humbleness that allows it to be very approachable and puts the work contained within it on display more so than the design.” // “This project was very creative in its incorporation of the zoo program into the building’s architecture. In particular, using an Animal Hospital as a teaching tool and patron experience for the zoo was executed with particular skill and vision. Additionally, the project incorporates contextual building forms and materials in a fresh and modern way.” // “Given the intricacy and seriousness of the program, this project still allows for comfort of the patient by an obviously adoring public. A wonderful teaching and fundraising tool for the zoo.”

Animation video of the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital used by the OKC ZooFriends during fundraising.