Elephant park

Riehler Straße 173, 50735 Cologne

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Oxen + Römer und Partner Architekten

AG Zoologischer Garten Köln

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Elephant park

As the largest elephant enclosure north of the Alps, with its almost 20,000 sq m the new elephant park occupies about one tenth of the Cologne Zoo.
The design of the park is characterised by a closely interlocked architecture and landscape, while the dimensions are geared to the size of the elephants.
The existing hill of rubble was used to accommodate part of the 5,000 sq m indoor enclosure.
Inside, the enclosure inclines by three metres. The roof covered in greenery follows this relief and thus creates a hilly roofscape both within and without. The building becomes a shelter, while the large openings in the wall and the ceiling let in much natural light.
The wooden roof structure consist of seven umbrella of 20 to 25 metres in diameter, borne by trunk-like supports of about 12 metres.
The used materials and colours are supposed to enhance the impression of a natural elephant habitat. Floor covering and wooden roof are sand-coloured, the water basins are as turquoise-green as the plants, concrete substructures and supports draw upon the grey elephants.
The attempt to create a very natural park is continued in the outdoor enclosure. There are no barriers or dry ditches but water basis and rocks keep animals and visitors apart.

Holzbaupreis 2006 (Informationsdienst Holz), Anerkennung

Author: Ulrich Grützner (koelnarchitektur) / Editorial baukunst-nrw
Last changed on 26.03.2007


Landscape Architecture » Botanical and Zoological Gardens

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