This Grade II listed house, built in the 19th century, was purchased in 1930 by George Mottershead as a home for his private collection of animals. In the following year he opened up his menagerie to the public, and Chester Zoo was born. Today it is one of the largest and most visited zoos in the UK. Oakfield House has been altered and adapted over its lifetime and now provides a range of catering, office and function suite facilities. Donald Insall Associates was appointed to provide full architectural services for adapting the building and its setting in order to better serve the needs of the zoo today and for the future. We prepared proposals for rationalising and upgrading the existing accommodation, and providing an exciting, new BREEAM “Excellent” extension to house wedding and banquet facilities.