Chester Zoo, UK
As part of a £40 million redevelopment of Chester Zoo, in 2015 we supplied over 1,500m² of Jakob Webnet for the animal enclosures and aviaries that formed part of the zoo’s new Islands zone. This new feature provides homes for Sulawesi macaques, Sumatran orangutans, rhinoceros hornbills and Bali myna, with the enclosures providing a safe and secure environment for these endangered species.
Effectively 90% air and 10% stainless steel, Webnet provides a highly secure and safe filigree structure that minimises viewing obstruction and helps create a more natural environment.
The design of each enclosure at Chester Zoo had to meet a number of specific requirements. Animal welfare was of course paramount, but the viewing experience for visitors and the overall aesthetic appearance were also key. Webnet fulfilled each of these criteria, the high strength, versatile system offering the ideal solution to meet the very different needs of each structure – from a tiger enclosure to a hornbill aviary.
Tailored solutions were developed for each habitat, with different designs and different apertures in the Webnet material selected to meet security, safety, welfare, aesthetic and viewing needs. Each enclosure and aviary was purpose-cut in the Jakob factory to meet the specific design.
The interfaces between Webnet and other substrates were also very carefully considered, to ensure that the animals wouldn’t be able to find any weaknesses in the materials. The design and installation teams worked closely throughout the project, with each of the enclosures being completed on time and to programme, despite some particularly challenging weather conditions.
On completion of the project, we received very positive feedback from the client and understand that all the residents continue to be delighted with their homes!
Client: Chester Zoo
Main Contractor: Laing O’Rourke & Read Construction
Sub-contractor: Base Structures
Architect: Dan Pearlman Architects