The new elephant house at Copenhagen Zoo has been designed by a world-famous architect Sir Norman Foster. It is not only the largest one among its counterparts around the world, occupying 10,730 m² or 10% of entire zoo territory, but perhaps the first ever dwelling for grey giants created by a star architect. Light and lightness characterize the style of this elephant house, unlike dark and gloomy captivity conditions of many other similar places. Its centerpiece is a glass dome that not only fills the space with plenty of daylight but helps to ensure an appropriate temperature level for its inhabitants, matching their natural environment. Even more comfort for big animals is provided covering concrete flooring by 50 cm of soft sand layer, while the house itself is built form eco-friendly materials. Also the rest of the territory with feeding and swimming areas has been created according to elephants' needs and their habits when living in the wild. The surrounding environment of the elephant house has been executed by the Danish landscape architect Stig L. Andersson. According to the zoo management, great architecture affords additional value to a zoo, the same way as an art collection benefits from great architecture of a museum. Norman Foster's design for the National Botanic Garden of Wales, featuring a huge glass dome as well, served as one of incentives for inviting him for this project as well.
Keywords: Copenhagen, zoo, architecture