Austin Commercial served as construction manager for the Fort Worth Zoo’s new 30,000-square-foot, indoor/outdoor herpetological facility that contains more than 100 exhibits housing 5,000 reptiles, amphibians and more. The project, known as the Museum of Living Art (MOLA), includes spacious, humidity-controlled exhibits and state-of-the-art conservation tools that facilitate the breeding of rare, endangered and critically endangered animals.
Escaping the aquarium in the wall form, the exhibits in the MOLA vary in size and undulate along the serpentine path of building. Turns along the path provide opportunities for graphics, murals and displays for education. Exhibits are only part of the herpetarium’s function. The back-of-house amenities include holding rooms, quarantine rooms, and hibernaculums – all crucial in the zoo’s conservation mission.
MOLA replicates environments where the sounds of trickling water and soft breezes transport visitors to natural habitats, providing glimpses of a gliding tree frog or a newly hatched snake or salamander. The entire building is designed to offer a calm place where any guest can muster enough courage to meet an imposing rattlesnake or pet a scaly lizard.