Great Elephants House at Cophenhagen Zoo
Elephant house that have a group of Indian elephant are the original structure dated back to 1914 and was in serious need of an upgrade for both the elephants and the visitors, so Foster and Partners was called upon to complete a new facility for the zoo in 2008. Nowadays this is the biggest attractions at the Copenhagen Zoo.
The new space of this place is five times larger than the old enclosure and it incorporates natural daylighting and solar passive design, but more importantly it provides a more stimulating environment for the elephants.
The main enclosure is covered in a lightweight, translucent material, which gives the elephants a stronger connection with the outdoors while providing protection from the elements.
But, keeping the elephants happy was a key element in the design of the new house, and detailed research into the social patterns of elephants helped inform a plan to create two enclosures for elephants to hang out in, socialize with each other, play, or stay cool.
The naturally daylight interior is also a welcome change from the dark enclosures usually seen at zoos. Visitors can walk around the enclosure and look in through the roof to see the elephants from above without unsightly barriers between them.
The new house, constructed to allows all the elephants to sleep together as they would in the outdoors, and heated floors help keep them dry and maintain the health of their feet. Landscaping and watering holes were designed to reflect the elephants’ natural habitat, allowing the them to play and interact more freely.