Orang Utan House

Since the ape house built in the 1960s no longer met the requirements of modern, species-appropriate animal husbandry and certainly not the expectations of an enlightened public, Hagenbeck Zoo decided to build a trend-setting facility for orangutans. The climate prevailing in Hamburg does not justify an outdoor enclosure in addition to an indoor enclosure, so the new orangutan domicile was planned as a covered outdoor enclosure.  It is covered by a hemispherical dome of 32 metres in diameter, which can be opened halfway. The night and sleeping quarters, as well as the rooms for feed preparation and the staff and technical rooms are located in the substructure of the dome structure.  The ribbed dome is constructed of steel sections and is filled with multi-layer ETFE membranes. This stable fluoropolymer plastic offers several advantages over glass infill. The foil material allows UV light to enter the interior and thus ensures plant growth. Shading is achieved by silver dot printing.

Orang Utan House


Zoological Park Hagenbeck, Hamburg / Germany


Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Tierpark Hagenbeck, Hamburg


1.000 m²



The separation within the jungle house between the enclosure and the auditorium should appear as natural as possible. Accordingly, no grid systems were used - water surfaces, ditches, rock concrete and glass panes serve as barriers.

In 2004, the building was named "Building of the Year" by the Hamburg Architects and Engineers Association (AIV).

Picture Credits: Wetzel & von Seht, Hamburg

Vorheriges Projekt
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