Brookfield Zoo, Hamill Family Wild Encounter and the Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion


Hamill Family Wild Encounter and Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion

Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Brookfield, Illinois


16,500 sf facility and 40,000 sf site development 

Project Scope

New Construction to house animals that engage visitors in up-close experiences,with public space for educational interaction and events and adjacent new public restrooms


Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513


John Grube
(630) 850-4331

The Featherstone Difference

Featherstone embedded with the client during the planning phase for the reconstruction of the southeast portion of the Zoo. Initial efforts centered around the threeacre Hamill Family Wild Encounter development, but this feature had a programmatic connection to the popular Animal Ambassador program. This critical opportunity to create a co-development, had been previously sidelined due to funding limitations. Strategies were developed to achieve an economy of scale that would enable the construction of both sites simultaneously. There was such credible detail, with respect to schedule and cost estimates, that the Zoo could move forward with both projects.  

Featherstone helped jumpstart both projects and collaborated with architect Booth Hansen to bring the award-winning Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion online – years ahead of the planned schedule. Both projects benefitted from orchestrated design and construction efficiencies, and therefore achieved better value for the Zoo’s benefactor dollars. Fundraising with confidence for the Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion began during the design phase and proved true; as both projects exceeded all expectations for quality, timeliness, and value.  

Category: New Construction

Budget: $17,250,000

Featherstone managed the design team to ensure compliance to the approved budget and schedule while maintaining the project program.

– Amy Schoenfeld-Lofgren
Chicago Zoological Society

Featherstone Facts

Average Bid to Build Variance -3.11%,
Average Value for Fee at 145%
Last 5 years – 5 Fabulous Parks
Last 5 years – 5 Fantastic Libraries
Multiple, Decades-Longstanding, Client Relationships – The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Garden, Brookfield Zoo, the Wauconda Public Library, The Schaumburg Township District Library