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Competition: Lemur enclosure, Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo
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Belfast City Council is recruiting a design team for a new £300,000-to-£400,000 Lemur exhibit at Belfast Zoo

The integrated consultant team chosen for the estimated £25,000-to-£35,000 contract will create a new ‘Madagascan-themed’ Lemur enclosure at the zoological gardens which first opened to the public in 1934 and now receives more than 300,000 visitors a year.

The project, planned to complete in 2020, will transform a disused aviary enclosure on the 22ha Cavehill site into a landmark new facility featuring an ETFE-clad walkway and hosting several species of lemur alongside some bird, reptile and invertebrate exhibits.

According to the brief: ‘The Council has decided to redevelop the existing aviary enclosure which is now empty, and redesign it to house the several species of lemur within the enclosure, with the enclosure having a Madagascan theme. The tender exercise purpose is to successfully appoint a zoo specialist-led integrated Consultant Team (ICT) for the development of a new Madagascan-themed Lemur enclosure.

‘Unlike most zoo exhibits, the new exhibit will offer zoo-goers a unique, interactive opportunity. Visitors will get to walk through the lemurs’ exhibit, meeting species such as the red-fronted, the ring tailed and the black-and white ruffed lemur. The walkthrough design encourages guests to directly engage in the habitat of the lemurs. The reinstatement of a walkway within the enclosure will allow visitors a unique vantage point to view the animals within.’

Occupying a dramatic hillside site overlooking the Antrim Road and Irish Sea, Belfast Zoological Gardens was created in the mid-1930s on land previously used for a public park. Today the 22ha zoo houses 1,200 animals and 140 species.

The latest project will create a landmark new Lemur exhibit on a plot previously used for an aviary which closed six years ago due to safety concerns. The new installation will include a water feature, climbing options, health facilities and nest sites.

Crown lemurs, red bellied lemurs, black lemurs, red ruffed lemurs, white handed brown lemurs, red collared brown lemurs, brown lemurs and red fronted brown lemurs may all be housed within the exhibit.

Earlier this year, the zoo faced calls for a temporary closure after five chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure using a tree branch dislodged by Storm Erik.

Bids to design and deliver the new Lemur area will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on cost. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on 3 May.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

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