A Sustainable Sweet Spot in the Heart of the Zoo

Candy Crossing Retail Shop
Saint Louis Zoo
St. Louis, MO

KAI was selected by the Saint Louis Zoo to provide Architectural, MEP/FP Engineering, and BuildĀ services to a multi-tenant retail replacement building in the Schnuck Family Plaza – a pedestrian circulation nexus in the center of the Zoo. New tenants include Candy Crossing fudge and candy shop, full-service Starbucks (the first ever located within a zoo), and a 2,200-square-foot outdoor dining area overlooking North Lake and featuring a beautiful new solar panel shade canopy, officially called Williams Family Solar Pavilion.

The new 1,500 SF space is a vibrant spot providing sweets and beverages for visitors of all ages year round, with multiple outdoor dining options. Sustainability, environmental and animal-friendly considerations were a driving force behind the design, with the building earning LEED Silver Certification. Elements include an energy-efficient HVAC system, low-VOC materials, and permeable pavement that allows rainwater to collect in the lake behind the store. Special vertical markings were placed on the store’s windows to prevent bird strikes and injury. Additionally, the solar panels atop the Williams Family Pavilion help power both the Candy Crossing and Starbucks spaces. No detail was overlooked – down to using compostable straws in Starbucks beverages instead of plastic. All items at Candy Crossing are made with either sustainable palm oil or no palm oil at all, which protects rainforest animals and their homes.



Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Plumbing Engineering, General Contracting, Fire Protection Engineering

The Impact

Designing for community: the animals

Special considerations were made in the design of this retail shop to protect and support wildlife. Windows contain vertical markings that deter birds from striking and injuring themselves on the glass. Candy items within the store contain no palm oil or only sustainable palm oil, which protects rainforest animals and their homes.

Project Recognition

LEED Silver Certified