50 km away from Paris, in the Yvelines department, are the Thoiry Castle dating from the XVIth and XVIIth centuries and its Zoo. Built in 1559 at the request of Raoul Moreau, treasurer of King Henry II, the castle is an architectural work that had the ambition to serve the lifestyle of a noble family, but also to satisfy the passions of his esoteric owner. The residence was designed by architect Philibert de l’Orme and his master mason Olivier Ymbert. Standing on the top of a hill, the castle is the backbone of a solar calendar whose horizon is the dial. Its exterior dimensions are based on the number 5 and those of the Interior on the number 6. The square, symbol of earth, and the double square generate rectangles and dynamic cubes. Extended by the prospects of the gardens, the axes of its windows are the needles that mark the special moments of the advancement of the sun in the sky. At the summer solstice, the day star rises in the central axis north-east of the castle, and at the winter solstice, it sets in the southwest axis. A side window transparency is at sunrise and sunset at the spring and autumn equinoxes.
Transcending arithmetic progressions, geometric progressions based on the golden number, grant the architecture of the castle to the proportions of the universe.
Designed by Colomba de La Panouse Turnbull and inaugurated in 2013, the Ark of small animals is an exceptional and unique construction, a unique and innovative project in France. Immense building of wood and hemp of 500m2 partly immersed in the heart of a European wetland and capped with a roof covered with plants, Ark present poorly known species, belonging to the class of amphibians and the group of invertebrates, in an attractive way for visitors and optimal living conditions for them. The goal? Show their incredible biodiversity and reveal their ecological importance. The ark shows the respect and commitment of the Park and Castle of Thoiry in sustainable development.