Bird House “Marvelous Migration” Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park • Washington, DC

A New Exhibition and Amenities Within a Historic Space

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park is transforming its historic 1928 Bird House into the new “Marvelous Migration Exhibit,” a state-of-the-art exhibition space exploring one of the most sensational occurrences in the natural world—the migration of birds in the Western Hemisphere.

With almost 100 species of birds, the Marvelous Migration Exhibit and surrounding bird plateau will be the first zoo exhibition of this size focusing on the cyclical journeys of migratory songbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds integral to North, Central, and South American ecosystems. The exhibit will inspire and connect visitors to birds in new ways through themed walk-through aviaries, interactive experiences, and dynamic educational programming.

The renovation includes expanded exhibits and animal holding areas with a commitment to research and educational spaces, revitalizing the exhibits to modern standards, improving the visibility of the animals, and telling the story of bird migration and adaptation. The interpretive design for the exhibit offers memorable visitor experiences through immersive animal viewing opportunities, engaging interactive and multimedia exhibits, citizen science outposts, and sculpture. The program also includes new food and retail services for visitors.

Designed to LEED® Gold certification standards, the project follows the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation to maintain the historic exterior appearance of the original Bird House and replace its missing main entry. The MEP engineering for this complex project incorporates numerous design details that promote the welfare and safety of this living collection.


Quinn Evans

Client History

2023: National Zoological Park Bird House; Quinn Evans
2018: Conservation Pavilion, National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute: Quinn Evans
2016: National Zoological Park Police Station and Restroom Renovations; Quinn Evans
2015: National Zoological Park Great Ape House and Giant Panda Habitat; Quinn Evans
2013: National Zoological Park Guard House Electrical System Upgrades; Quinn Evans
2013: National Zoological Park Visitor Center Restroom Upgrades; Quinn Evans
2012: National Zoological Park Auditorium Fire Protection and Life Safety Design; Quinn Evans
2011: National Zoological Park Red Panda Holding Area; Quinn Evans
2011: National Zoological Park Decentralize Steam Distribution System Study; Quinn Evans
2011: National Zoological Park Great Cats Exhibit Safety Modifications; Quinn Evans
2011: National Zoological Park Visitor Center Upgrades; Quinn Evans
2004: National Zoological Park Upgrade American Bison to Takin Exhibit; Quinn Evans

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