Jackson Teece Architects has designed a unique chimpanzee enclosure comprised of a mast and cable structure clad by blackened Carl Stahl X-Tend stainless steel tensile mesh.
A transparent cable-supported ‘non-climb wall’ was integrated into the structure to prevent chimpanzees from climbing up the walls of the enclosure from the adjacent outdoor paddock. This is a very unique and highly technical arrangement and called for thorough and detailed analysis, co-ordination, planning and execution to ensure that the structure was buildable and could be delivered in a safe and cost efficient manner.
Once the overall system geometry was confirmed through design consultation and the use of a scale model, finite element analysis of the system was performed to determine required forces that all structure and foundations are to be designed to. Reaction loads to foundations/footings and other mating structures were determined so that all surrounding supporting structures could be properly designed to support the mesh enclosure and non-climb wall structure.
Ronstan was fully responsible for the design and installation of the structure including masts, cables, tensile mesh and non-climb panels. Installation of these elements called for careful planning and execution and required the use of a full birdcage scaffold inside the structure to enable installers to deal with the mesh’s unique and complex behaviour.
Mesh installation was an extremely complicated and specialised process and, for this project, we called on the expertise of a specialist mesh installation supervisor from our partner Carl Stahl, Germany.
Throughout all stages of design and commissioning of the works utmost attention was paid to every detail to ensure the highest possible level of safety and security for chimpanzees, general public and staff. Now with the enclosure complete the chimpanzees can reassume their post perched high above Sydney Harbour under the watchful gaze of thousands of Taronga Zoo visitors.
Lipman Pty Ltd. has since been rewarded for their work with Taronga Zoo Chimpanzee Enclosure winning the Master Builders Association Construction Award for Public Buildings.