Tiger Territory, London Zoo, UK.
The new enclosure is situated between two existing buildings: a 1930s brickwork stork and ostrich house and a 1960s concrete sea lion viewing stand. These have both been preserved and strengthened in order to minimise the impact of the development; by avoiding the disruption within the zoo that demolition would cause and by reducing the quantity of material required to create the new enclosure. Sensitive refurbishment has been undertaken in order to create living quarters for the tigers and viewing platforms for the visitors. Although the former sea lion stand was deemed unable to provide necessary lateral stability to the cable net structure, this was overcome through the addition of clamping reinforcing steel plates to either side of the frame, without compromising the original structure.
An elegant, lightweight stainless steel cable net structure, with a surface area of 2250m2 completes the enclosure providing the perfect solution of safely containing the force of the tigers without the appearance of a tangible barrier. This solution meets all practical requirements whilst also minimising material use: the total weight of the new structure is approximately 10kg/m2. This is approximately one tenth of what a traditional solution might have weighed.