We can all but smell the gourmet food and thirst-quenching beverages that await once the construction site fencing comes down and the doors open on the Zoo’s highly anticipated new café and function centre.

The new offerings will be sure to satisfy tastebuds, but the buildings they’re served up in will be just as remarkable.

Designed to stand out, one of the main features of the function centre is the stunning rammed earth walls that could easily be found in an art gallery.

Created by Jens Jacobsen from Rammed Earth Alternatives, the walls are an art piece in their own right and each one is completely unique.

Mr Jacobsen has been working with rammed earth for many years, having discovered the technique while searching for greener, alternative building options.

“It ticked the box for me as something that was good for the planet,” Mr Jacobsen said. “It’s a technique that’s actually very ancient but has evolved with better scientific understanding. Large pieces of the Great Wall of China are actually rammed earth.”

A combination of natural stones, cement and water are placed into pre-constructed formwork, then compacted to create the walls. It’s simple in theory, but takes a great deal of skill to balance the crucial water content.

With the rammed earth walls now complete and the polished concrete slab poured, it’s roof time for the function centre.

Meanwhile over at the café site, the internal walls and ceilings are being completed and the external timber cladding is being installed.

Crothers Construction has been carefully planning works in collaboration with Zoo staff to avoid disruption to animals.

The café and function centre are on track to be complete by mid-2023.