This project was developed in response to an invited tender between 5 design teams in 2017. The HRA team included Rehwaldt Landschaftsarchitekten, EiSat GmbH, Civil and Structural Engineers, Obermeier Planen+Beraten Ingenieure, M&E Consultants and Transsolar Climateengineering.
This project sets out to re-orientate the western section of the Wilhelma Zoo with the adjacent city quarter by creating a suite of entrance functions between the new Asian territories and a bespoke structure for elephants. The project design builds on HRA project experience at Leipzig and Zurich.
ETFE roof technology is used to create a free-form oval roof shape that dips at critical urban edges yet rises to generate the required internal vertical dimension.
A grid-shell of tubular steel sections is particularly slim; this roof geometry denies perspective and creates an abstracted sky backdrop to the naturalized shared landscape beneath for elephants and zoo visitors.
Natural red clays were to be applied to the vertical surfaces of the Biome space and this theme is carried through in a red ceramic façade to the public areas and entrance spaces. This material choice responds to the 19th century decorative terracotta entrance walls of the main zoo entrance.
HRA were place second in this design competition.