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Glass Roof for the Hippo House at the Berlin Zoo

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The Berlin Zoo, open to the public since 1844, is Germany's oldest zoological garden. Following World War Two, a new hippo house was built in 1956. This compound has grown outdated both technically and structurally and is being replaced by a glass-covered structure with observation windows below the waterline. The glass roof has been designed to cover two circular pools, one about 21 m in diameter for pigmy hippos, and the other about 29 m diameter for the standard hippopotami. The challenge of the Berlin Hippo House was to find the mesh geometry for two spherical domes, with a smooth and continuous transition between them that could be covered with flat glass panels, since the four corners of each mesh lie in a plane.

Keywords: Berlin Zoo (Germany); Glass roofs; Grid domes; Mesh geometry; Structural behaviour

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1997

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    Structural Engineering International (SEI), the quarterly Journal of IABSE, published since 1991, is the leading international journal of structural engineering dealing with all types of structures and materials. SEI offers its readers a unique blend of short profiles on recent structures, and longer, in-depth technical articles on research, development, design, construction and maintenance. Articles are written by practicing engineers and academia from around the world and reflect the high standards of IABSE. IABSE Peer Review stamps are given to papers that have passed through a highly selective review process and demonstrate a significant contribution to the state of structural engineering knowledge.To recognise contributions of the highest quality, an Outstanding Paper Award is presented each year.

    SEI is printed in Switzerland; ISSN 1016-8664; E-ISSN 1683-0350
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