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London Zoo - Land of the Lions

Dellner Glass Solutions provides a close encounter experience at London Zoo

Dellner Glass Solutions were contacted by client Cox Design and Manufacturing about a specialist job for ZSL London Zoo. The zoo required highly specialised glass for a brand new enclosure they were building, the Land of the Lions; a multi-million pound enclosure unlike any that had been seen before.

The 2,500sqm enclosure includes state-of-the-art facilities for a breeding group of endangered Asiatic lions, and of which only a few hundred remain in the wild.  London Zoo's designers visited the lions' wild home in the Gujarat state in India for inspiration and ideas, and worked with members of London's Gujarati community to ensure the enclosure lives up to the land it draws inspiration from.

The exhibit was designed to be an immersive experience for visitors, where they can feel they’ve stepped into the heart of India, and closer to the lions than ever before. Visitors are separated from the lions by fine wires and specified anti-reflective security glass that only Dellner Romag can provide.

The solution

Dellner Glass Solutions supplied over 60 sqm of specialist anti-reflective security glass AirGlaz. The glass was constructed from low iron float glass, which when built up into multiple laminates maintains its high light transmission levels and remains completely colourless, unlike traditional float glass which takes on a green hue the thicker it is constructed.

AirGlaz also incorporates an advanced magnetron sputter coating that reduces the levels of reflection in the glass from 8% to below 1%. Giving an unobstructed view of the lions and the illusion of a floor to ceiling barrier-less view into the enclosure.

Whilst appearing as though it isn’t there, the anti-reflective glass is toughened and laminated to exacting standards and strong enough to withstand the weight and power of the Lions.

Installation work was completed over a five month period by Northampton-based industrial glazing specialists Cox Design and Manufacturing, which also designed and installed parts of the structural steelwork needed to hold the glass panels securely in place.

The result

The exhibit opened on March 17th by Her Majesty the Queen. Since opening the Zoo has been praised for their commitment to conservation.

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