With a surface area of 7.700m2 and a staggering volume of 27.700 cbm! Massive artificial rock cliffs and bays depict the polar coasts of the Arctic, Antarctica and Patagonia, the homes to polar bears (Ursus maritimus), walruses (Odobenus rosmarus), seals, penguins and different species of seabirds. Tradition and innovation are the two cornerstones of the concept for rebuilding this historically significant enclosure. The listed, dilapidated building was replaced on-site by a new construction similar to the historic model. In addition to exceeding the most stringent of EU directives regarding husbandry standards and best practice guidelines, the goal of the project was to give the visitor an understanding of the beauty and fascination of animals in their natural environment.

The visitor embarks on an expedition through the differing habitats of the Arctic and Antarctic inhabitants, while generously-proportioned panorama windows provide views into the breathtaking underwater worlds of these animals. All visitor areas have been designed as accessible for wheelchairs, and an innovative educational concept offers visitors additional background information on the threats of the wild habitats, as well as on biological, ecological and ethnical topics.

A particular highlight of the tour is the Antarctic penguin environment shown within the confines of the rock structure. In this independent habitat, permanently cooled to 7 °C, lives a colony of King- and Gentoo Penguins in a natural-appearing environment. Within the enclosure, the animals walk, swim and slide on a “guided” circuit around the visitor and display all the usual behaviour of their lives in the wild.

Special focus was placed on a sustainable water and energy concept, resulting in an innovative water-cooling system, which ensures a completely CO2-neutral cooling of the 5,5 million litres of water during the entire year.


Opening: 2012
Surface Area: approx. 8.000 sqm

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