BSBCC Visitor Centre

Client: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Project: Visitor Centre, Office and Quarantine Area
Role: Lead Design Consultant
Construction Budget: MYR600,000
Status: Completed Jan 2014
Design Team: Ian Hall, Billy Dunn, Chris Trunkfield, Daniele Cohen, Sarah Greenlees, Jonathan Dolan.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) Visitor Centre

Sun Bears are a totally protected species in Malaysia and threatened throughout their range by habitat loss and poaching. The first priority of BSBCC was to provide welfare for captive bears that had been confiscated by the Sabah Wildlife Department. The Visitor Centre represents the second priority, which is to educate the public about Sun Bear Conservation and in the process to generate income to sustain the animal welfare activities of the centre. The remaining two objectives are research and rehabilitation.

The visitor centre was funded by Yayasan Sime Darby (Sime Darby Foundation) and built by contractor Buildtech Enterprise. Landscape design is by Salad Dressing. The centre is now open to the public and includes ticketing, interpretation and a souvenir shop. The same building also houses the BSBCC offices and a quarantine area.

The building is an adaptive re-use of a former wildlife clinic, a design strategy that significantly reduces carbon emissions from embodied energy. The visitor areas and quarantine are all designed following passive design principles of shade, daylight, natural ventilation and thermal insulation. The only air-con spaces are the offices. The visitor experience is built around an interpretive journey through the forest, with the building having a seamless connection between inside and outside, reminding us of our connection to nature.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre blog posts