Redevelopment of the visitor area of the orangutan and drill facility in the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich
A unique natural paradise in the middle of the landscape protection area of the Isar meadows in Munich: the Hellabrunn Zoo. The zoo has been dedicated to the fascinating world of nature for over 100 years and reflects this enthusiasm in the most modern zoological facilities. Since a general expansion plan in 1972, the zoo has been redesigned and renewed again and again in order to enable the next generation to meet the animals close to nature. With the renovation of the visitor area of the orangutan and drill facility last year, the zoo made another step towards modernization and now attracts visitors to an eventful encounter with this endangered species of monkey. The renovation followed a sophisticated architectural concept, which is based on the natural habitat of the exotic animals and conjures up a little jungle flair in the visitor area.
One with nature and animals
The “station hall character” should go away, said Rasem Baban, director of the zoo and trained architect, the Munich daily newspaper tz in the run-up to the renovation. “The new environment should reflect the natural habitat of the animals a bit.” Visitors must be able to see where the drill monkeys and orangutans come from and what threats they are exposed to. Accordingly, an architectural design concept was developed that turns the space into an experience with interactive elements, learning boards and an inspiring interior design including a new lighting concept in an environment modeled on the jungle. One with nature and animals, this new approach is clearly visible and tangible in the renovated rooms after the reopening of the visitor hall of the orangutan and drill house in Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich.
Refined floor concept with a jungle atmosphere
For the new spatial experience, the executive architect and deputy head of the technical department in the Hellabrunn zoo chose Radim Rozehnal natural materials. He chose Forbo Linoleum for a combined floor and wall design. The wide range of colors with different structures offered the best conditions for the redesign of an atmospheric environment. Marmoleum sheeting was laid in four natural tones. The different nuances evoke associations with the natural environment of the exotic monkey species and refer to the close connection between nature and marmoleum. Marmoleum consists of up to 98% natural raw materials; 73% of them are growing quickly. The recycling percentage of CO2-neutral Forbo Linoleum is 43%.
In addition, extremely hard-wearing linoleum guarantees to withstand the demands of the daily flow of visitors and not to lose its well-groomed appearance even after years of use. A total of approximately 700 square meters were installed in four different colors. The special thing is the clever use. The elastic material was not only laid on the floor, but also installed on the seating and on the walls. In this way, the various elements merge with each other and create a very special atmosphere in their colors, which are based on nature, and which is particularly atmospheric due to the deliberately chosen dim light.
Handicraft challenge for interior work and floor laying
The manual implementation of this architecturally demanding task in the short time available was a challenge for the executing companies. In close cross-trade cooperation, the joinery Köberlein from Fahrenzhausen carried out the interior work and Roland Wölfl GmbH from Neufahrn the laying. The result of this successful interplay of natural interior architecture and innovative interior design was this extraordinary spatial concept, which gives the visitor an impression of the habitat of the two species of monkey – the tropical rainforest.
The redesign of the visitor area of the orangutan and drill house is rounded off by an integrated aquarium with a large number of Asian fish. In addition to informative information boards, the new visitor hall offers interactive elements, numerous objects for viewing and a so-called encounter tunnel, through which visitors can get closer to the animals.
Zoo director Rasem Baban is satisfied: “After the outdoor facility for the orangutans had been redesigned last summer, we are continuing the modernization process in this important area of the facility. The high-quality educational and educational content on these two highly endangered primate species set new standards and sharpen the profile of Hellabrunn Zoo as a committed environmental and educational institution. Another wonderful place to learn and discover has arisen in the row of our animal houses. ”
Forbo Linoleum products used
Marmoleum Fresco, 3252 sparrow
Marmoleum Fresco, 3246 shrike
Marmoleum Fresco, 3254 clay
Marmoleum Fresco, 3874 walnut
Photos: Matthias Groppe, Paderborn, Germany