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Asian Rhinos – ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


A viewing shelter was required for the Asian rhino enclosure. It needed to be suspended 3m above the rhinos on a steel gantry and have a natural, Asian theme. It was critical that the structure was safe and secure suspended high over the rhinos. A steel mesh walkway needed to be disguised and create a cohesive theme with the viewing shelter.

Working closely with ZSL Whipsnade and London Zoo Interpretation and Design staff, a bespoke solution was developed. A 3m diameter circular timber viewing shelter was created using 6 eucalyptus posts, which supported a timber, conical roof. The roof was clad in natural Cape Reed and the underside was lined with Cape Reed board. With two entrances and overhanging semi-circular bays each side, the shelter allows unrestricted access over the bridge and viewing of the Asian rhinos.

Curved handrail sections with eucalyptus spindles provide a safe and tactile barrier for the younger visitors to view the rhinos below. The steel mesh fencing was clad in natural cane, topped with half round eucalyptus posts disguising the steel walkway.

The whole project was installed in just two days, on time and on budget.