Open side-bar Menu
 ArchShowcase
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Elephant House in Copenhagen, Denmark by Foster + Partners

 
June 27th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Foster + Partners

Set within a historic royal park, adjacent to the Frederiksberg Palace, Copenhagen Zoo is among the oldest zoos in Europe and one of Denmark’s most popular cultural institutions, with 1.2 million visitors a year. Among the Zoo’s most visited inhabitants are the Indian elephants. The starting point for the design of this new Elephant House was to provide these magnificent animals with a healthy, stimulating environment and in the process to create easily accessible spaces from which visitors can see and enjoy them.

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

  • Architects: Foster + Partners
  • Project: Elephant House
  • Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Client: Foundation Realdania for Copenhagen Zoo
  • Area: 3250m2 internal (building – stables and visitor areas), 3500m2 external paddock areas, 2050 m2 visitor circulation/landscape
  • Internal breakdown: Visitor areas 900m2, Service areas 750m2, Stables 1600m2
  • Site Area: 8800m2
  • Number of Floors: 2 – main floor + mezzanine exhibition/entrance space
  • Capacity: 8 elephants, 6 keepers, 4 staff, 150 visitors max at any time (varies throughout year)
  • Glass domed roofs: Herd 45m x 23m, Bulls 30m x 15m

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

  • Foster + Partners Team: Norman Foster, Spencer de Grey, Armstrong Yakubu, Narinder Sagoo, John Jennings, Damian Timlin, Sebastian Busse, Niraj Doshi, Jason Dougherty, Nike Himmels, Xavier De Kestelier, Neryhs Phillips Kwak, Brady Peters, Pia Salin, Charbel Tannous, Alia Tohala
  • Client: Foundation Realdania for Copenhagen Zoo
  • Architect: Foster + Partners
  • Structural Engineers: Rambøll with Buro Happold
  • Services: Rambøll with Buro Happold
  • Landscape Architect: Stig L Andersson Architects
  • Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon LLP

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Extensive research into elephants’ social patterns provided design cues. The tendency for bull elephants in the wild to roam away from the herd suggested a plan organised around two separate enclosures. These enclosures are dug into the sloping site, both to minimise the building’s physical impact in the landscape and to optimise its passive thermal performance  accessible spaces from which visitors can see and enjoy them.

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Covered with glazed domes, the spaces maintain a strong visual connection with the sky and changing patterns of daylight. From the entrance square visitors enter the foyer and are lead by ramps down into an educational space, with views into the enclosures along the way. At the end of this route, broad public terraces offer splendid views across the herd paddock. Barriers between the animals and visitors are discreet, and the paddock walls are concealed in a linear pool so that the visitor encounters the elephants as another ‘surprise’ in the landscape of the park.

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Significantly, the building sets new zoological standards in terms of the elephants’ physical well-being. The main enclosure enables the six cows and calves to congregate and sleep together, as they would in the wild, while the floors are heated to keep them dry and thus maintain the health of the animals’ feet. Other aspects of the design resulted from research into the elephants’ natural habitat. The paddocks recreate a section of dry riverbed as found at the edge of the rainforest – a favourite haunt of Asian elephants. With its mud holes, pools and shading objects, it is a place where the animals are able to play and interact freely.

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

General background

  • Copenhagen Zoo’s Asian elephants are the best breeding group in Europe. In the last 30 years 9 elephants have been born in Copenhagen which places the zoo as the third most successful in the world
  • Copenhagen Zoo is the most visited cultural institution in Denmark, attracting over 1.2 million visitors a year and is set within an historic royal park, adjacent to the Fredriksberg Palace

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Climate and conditions

  • The internal environment is maintained at a comfortable temperature (16 – 22 deg. C). There is a mist system installed to control humidity levels and to prevent the elephants’ skin becoming too dr
  • The floor in the main herd stable is covered in sand (500mm deep). The sand is more comfortable to sleep on as it moulds to the shape of the body, drains away urine and keeps the elephants’ feet dry and free from infections
  • The stable areas where the elephants are washed and trained have concrete floors with under floor heating to keep them dry and warm

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Construction

  • An adult male elephant weighs 5.5T and can exert a 15T horizontal load on a wall
  • All the walls which can be reached by an elephant are made of reinforced concrete 300mm thick
  • The precast wall panels in the stables have a textured surface (exposed aggregate) so that the elephants can rub/exfoliate their skin
  • The reach of an elephant’s trunk is 2.5m horizontally and 6m vertically so any services and light fittings are out of reach or protected with steel cover plates as elephants are very inquisitive
  • The ‘fritting’ pattern on the glazed roof canopies was created by sampling four species of tree. A computer script was written to rotate, scale and randomly populate the roof, so that no two ‘leaves’ are the same. The overlapping pattern provides naturalistic dappled light

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Landscaping

  • The external elephant landscape is made of sand and includes a 3m deep and 60m long lake
  • The landscape, designed by Stig L Andersson, reinforces the relationship between the zoo and the adjacent royal park and provides the public with accessible viewing and educational facilities
  • The elephant areas are designed so that they are never completely surrounded by people to minimise stress for animals
  • New standards have been set in terms of the elephants’ well-being
  • The main herd enclosure will, for the first time, enable elephants in captivity to spend the night together, as they would in the wild

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

 Environment

  • The glass domes are low-energy double-glazed windows
  • The house has district heating
  • The water in the basin is cleaned and recycled
  • Drain water is collected and used in the basins and for washing the elephants
  •  Ecofriendly building materials where possible
  •  Concrete walls and glass roofs allow the solar energy to be accumulated in walls and floor
  •  Natural ventilation in the stables
  • In the ventilation system in the visitor areas ingoing cold air is heated by outgoing warm

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Richard Davies

Image Courtesy © Richard Davies

Image Courtesy © Richard Davies

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Image Courtesy © Foster + Partners

Related posts:

Tags: ,

Category: Zoo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

GRAPHISOFT: ARCHICAD download 30-day FREE trial
Graphisoft ARCHICAD  Download a 30-Day FREE trial
TurboCAD pro : Start at $299
CADalog.com - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.



Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy