Cooper Cromar Architects design Chimpanzee house at Edinburgh Zoo
Work has begun on a new £5.65m world class visitor attraction to house up to fifty chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo, designed by Cooper Cromar Architects. The new 1400m2 facility will allow the public to get as close as possible to the chimps within a naturalistic environment and will provide three chimpanzees houses or ‘pods’ internally linked by bridges and tunnels as well as to an external enclosure. The public route will weave between these pods, with visual connections in each, as well as having an interpretation space which will describe and highlight the Budongo chimpanzee conservation program which the RZSS is sponsoring in Uganda.
A flexible 200 seat auditorium space will provide AV footage of the conservation project and is designed as such that at the end of the presentation the screen will open up to reveal Edinburgh Zoo’s chimpanzees.
There will also be a retail offer and a small corporate facility. Back of house facilities will have restricted access to keepers and researchers (from St Andrews University), and will provide secure access to each pod, as well as 5 off show bedrooms, keeper’s office, store room and food preparation area.
Each of the three pods will have a different spatial configuration and lighting level, being primarily top lit. One pod will have provision for full three dimensional spatial exploration with the roof space having climbing bars. Other companies involved in the project include Met Studios (Interiors), Ordin (Structures), RSP (Mechanical & Engineering), Turner Townsend (Costs/Project Manager) and The Royal Zoological Society
For Scotland (Client). The development is due to open in Winter 2007.