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Monarto Zoological Park Chimpanzee Exhibit


For the first time at Monarto, an animal habitat has been created which provides both a large external habitat and an internal 'night quarters'. Both of these spaces are publicly viewable via a double-sided raised observation verandah. The habitat can accommodate up to 16 Chimpanzees. Tropical Chimpanzees need human-like comfort conditions and the Monarto climate requires both winter heating and summer cooling to maintain internal comfort. Low-energy evaporative cooling systems and radiant heating are provided. A subtle architectural form has been created which derives directly from this viewing arrangement. The building's simple section is complemented by robust and durable material selections which promote ESD and a long maintenance-free lifespan, in a natural colour palette to integrate strongly with its Mallee setting.

An over-arching and very important form determinant for this project was the careful separation of animals, staff and visitors. This was achieved by elevating visitors to the first floor via a long ramp, which gives access to the wide habitat viewing verandah. This area provides an overview of the external fenced play habitat and internal chimp 'Playroom' with its built-in mezzanine. Large windows provide direct viewing and a low sill height affords the chimps protection and encourages adult and child visitor alike to bend or move down to Chimp level.

The Ground Floor is split into north-side Zoos SA designed animal facilities including four dens, raceways to move animals from the external exhibit to the secure holding areas and the main Playroom. On the south side are loading areas, office, kitchen and staff facilities.

Project Value: $1.5m
Completed 2009