Elephant House
Elephant House
Elephant House

Elephant House

The entire elephant area at Cologne Zoo covers about 20,000 m² including the elephant house with a 3,000 m² roof. This makes it the largest elephant park north of the Alps. The new construction of the elephant house at Cologne Zoo has provided the elephants living there with a more species-appropriate herd life.

The elephant house
at a glance

A leaf roof made of solid wood
for the elephant house at Cologne Zoo

Seven umbrella constructions with diameters between 20 and 25 metres form the roof structure. Each umbrella construction consists of an internal tension ring, curved beams and an external compression ring. There are skylights in the middle of the screen constructions. The construction is supported by twelve-metre-high columns made of reinforced concrete, whose shape is reminiscent of tree trunks.
Building project Elephant House at Cologne Zoo
Construction Glulam umbrella construction
Completion 2004
Volume of the wooden components 263 m³
Stored CO2 in the construction 199.6 tCO2
Avoided CO2 in the construction 239.5 tCO2
Building owner Aktiengesellschaft Zoologischer Garten, Cologne
Architects Oxen + Römer und Partner, Hürth, www.oxen.de
Structural engineering AWD Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, www.awd-ingenieure.info
Factory planning and production DERIX-Group
Assembly Holzbau Amann GmbH, Weilheim-Bannholz, www.holzbau-amann.de

The advantages of wood
at the Elephant House Cologne

Adult elephants can exert horizontal loads of up to 15 tonnes. In order to make the elephant house stable despite these forces, the building floor plan and the reinforced concrete components were adapted accordingly.
The roof structure, on the other hand, with an enormous area of about 3,000  m², was to be designed to be as light and cost-effective as possible. This was achieved by choosing glulam as the load-bearing element.
In addition, the roof takes on the tasks of heat and cold protection through extensive greening and also retains precipitation so that it later evaporates and increases the humidity in the elephant park.


Individual glulam

With our glulam, individual constructions can be built, because we produce the components in almost any shape and size – entirely according to your wishes. The kiln-dried wooden boards are joined together by finger-jointing to form long lamellas. Discover our diverse range of glulam.

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