Sep 11, 2015 Zürich / Switzerland
High-tech roof for eight elephants in Zürich zoo
After three years of construction, the “Kaeng Krachan” elephant park opened again in the summer of 2014. The centerpiece of the new facility is the elephant house – a very unique attraction. The eight elephants from Asia have been getting a lot of attention and so has the remarkable roof shell made of stable wood panels, which are bonded together with Loctite products from Henkel.
Zürich zoo is known for its spectacular enclosures. Since the opening of the new elephant park in the summer last year, the zoo has been even more popular. And while the eight elephants from Asia have something to do with it, so does the impressive elephant house.
“Not only does it meet the needs of the animals, it also pleases the visitors,” said Robert Zingg, Zürich zoo curator. The dome made of wood represents a leaf canopy, which reminds of the natural habitat of elephants in Thailand. From outside, the roof looks like a tortoise shell, from inside the light show gives a unique atmosphere to the house when the sun shines through the 271 holes. “It makes the installation very attractive,” said Zingg. Indeed, with 1.4 million visitors in 2014 the zoo set a new record.
The elephant house received Germany’s Structural Engineering Award 2015. The roof structure with its highly-resistant inner shell is unique worldwide. This shell consists of three-layer panels that are eight-centimeter thick and are bonded together with Loctite HB S709 Purbond. The fiber-free glue could meet the high requirements for resistance and stability. The laminated façade of the elephant house is also a high-tech support structure: its highly-resistant façade supports made of laminated timber are embedded in the foundations through threaded rods that are glued with Loctite CR 421 Purbond. Both products are solvent-free and formaldehyde-free.