Description: Chimps Breeding Colony
The Gorilla House
Date Listed: 14 September 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 207749
OS Grid Reference: TQ2809483571
OS Grid Coordinates: 528094, 183571
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5365, -0.1545
TQ 2883 NW CITY OF WESTMINSTER ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS
6/3 REGENT'S PARK NW1
14.9.70 The Gorilla House
(Chimps Breeding Colony)
Gorilla House. 1932 - 33, by Lubetkin and Tecton with Ove Arup, their first
significant commission and their first zoo building for the Zoological Society.
Reinforced 4" concrete,steel cage bars, light, insulated panel, revolving screen and
sliding glass inner cage windows; asphalted flat roof. Circular plan form governs
design which consists of drum with an open cage occupying half the circle and
permanent cage with clerestory light to the other half, with entrance and exit
swept wings integral to the composition. In winter,the revolving insulated screen closes
the open cage, provides sheltered viewing space for the public and allows climatic
control with sliding glass windows rising in the dividing wall and air conditioning
simulating Congo conditions. The revolving insulated panel screen(housed in summer
in the permanent half of the drum) pivots centrally upon ball bearings in a solid
steel column and is supported at the outer edge by rollers moving along a steel
channel on the upper perimeter. The permanent cage has a small basin and fountain.
Seminal Modern Movement building in Britain and the first built application of
the highly technical, quasi scientific Tecton research approach to a complex brief
producing an uncompromisingly modern design distinguished by a dynamic compositional
rhythm over-riding functionalism.
Lubetkin and Tecton, Architecture and Social Commitment; Peter Coe and Malcolm Reading.
Listing NGR: TQ2809483571
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.