Goettsch Partners designs new home for lions at Lincoln Park Zoo

Combining historic preservation, zoo style, and the technical experience that complex facades demand from customers, the Pepper Family members Wildlife Center at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago presents an improved customer practical experience whilst providing a comfortable, state-of-the-art residence for the zoo’s resident lions.

Designed by Chicago-dependent Goettsch Associates in collaboration with zoo design and style professionals PJA, the staff was tasked with doubling the measurement of the zoo’s lion habitat whilst accounting for equally lion strikes and animal consolation in the expanded habitat in the 110-12 months-aged making. The renovation also wanted to satisfy requirements set by Fee on Chicago Landmarks for get the job done on historic qualities.

“[This] expected a careful harmony of restoring its defining historic features and designing new, distinctively fashionable aspects,” claimed Andrew Fox, an associate at Goettsch Associates.

view of a lion enclosure at a zoo
Expansive glass panels permit site visitors a closer seem into the expanded lion enclosure. (Tom Harris)

Covering 54,000 sq. feet, the venture contains outside viewing shelters, new animal treatment services, conference and celebration areas, as perfectly as a Lion Loop that permits site visitors to view lions from the middle of the habitat. The new circulation allows visitors to working experience the lions in a much more private way.

The lion house was landmarked in 2005, demanding any future  do the job to be accomplished in just the Chicago Landmark recommendations. Nonetheless, the rules allow for some flexibility, so the structure staff prioritized areas in which they could work with far more freedom. The architects opened up the masonry of the north and south partitions, and on the east and west facades, they renovated the roof and clerestories around the building’s entrances. The architects had to substitute the stairs on the faces with accessible entryways, but ran into difficulties with Chicago’s Landmarks Commission as this intended that these faces would be significantly altered. The ensuing layout presented a “historic perception of entry” in accordance to Fox, and satisfied enhanced accessibility demands. 

overhead view of a large zoo enclosure with the chicago skyline in the distance
The new Pepper Family Wildlife Heart addresses 54,000 square ft in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. (Tom Harris)

Even more restoration get the job done centered on brick, stone, and terra-cotta elements of the residence. Staff changed terra-cotta soffits, though the copper gutters, the clay-tiled roof, and clerestory home windows all necessary restore work. The home windows, formerly operable, had been mounted as improved guiding-the-scenes heating and cooling units ended up put in so as to not further more disturb the hall’s historic character. 

interior of a historic zoo enclosure with vaulted ceilings
Cantilevered glass enclosures increase into the historic hall. (Tom Harris)

The new habitat spot is extra transparent than the preceding a single, with significant stretches of glass enclosures letting readers clearer and nearer views of the lions.

Goettsch Partners Principal Patrick Loughran describes the glass enclosures on the building’s north side as “innies and outies.” The ‘innies’—so named because they welcome site visitors in—were fashioned by half-inch triple-laminated glass that spanned up to 7 by 14 feet and weighed tons. Pepper Building experienced to use a 40-ton hydraulic crane and a pneumatic suction-growth manipulator to put in the panels. The ‘outies’ cantilever over the ground of the pre-existing corridor. Employees experienced to shore the floor—original to the 1912 building—from beneath owing to the pounds of the glass panels. 

The glass encompassing the enclosures was constructed with 1 ½-inch-thick laminated glass panels put into a stainless metal perimeter body. The glass—manufactured by Agnora Architectural Glass North The us—was created by combining a few 50 percent-inch reduced-iron lites of glass with a .09-inch Trosiful extremely-very clear PVB interlayer.

“Working with zoo team, a horizontal load of 2,280 kilos was determined as the equivalent force to a 500-pound lion impacting the enclosure at 25 miles for every hour with a quarter-second time step,” claimed Loughran. They also set the most deflection at 3 inches.

view of a lion in an enclosure through glass
Digitally-printed white dots reduce bird strikes. (Tom Harris)

Rice Engineering concluded the glass design, with their modeling of a concentrated load enabling for the outboard lite to be broken. The layout group lifted fears more than roller wave distortion and spontaneous breakage from nickel sulfide contaminates since the glass desired to be tempered to be more robust. Agnora calculated glass heat-treatment distortion, confirming the glass’s flatness, and analyzed warmth-soaking verification, reducing the likelihood of nickel sulfide contaminates. 

The final thought for glass design came at the ask for of the zoo officials who elevated concerns in excess of hen strikes. Trees ended up noticeable on both of those sides of the enclosures, earning them specially prone to hen strikes, according to Loughran. Soon after investigating several laminated-glass merchandise, the style and design staff identified minimal options offered the measurement of the glass panels they were being doing the job with. A floor-applied sample of white dots was digitally printed on the glass, with 3/16-inch diameter dots spaced two-by-two inches across the panels. The Dip-Tech inks printed on the glass have a superior environmental resistance, letting them to be printed on the exterior of the glass.