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Foster and Partners lands 'ideal elephant house' job

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Copenhagen Zoo has commissioned Foster and Partners to design a new elephant house following a gift from Thailand of three Asian elephants.

The brief demands a structure that provides a huge amount of space for the captive elephants, providing the 'animal enclosure of the future'.

Foster's project architect, Narinda Sagoo, said it was a fantastic opportunity to design a zoo building. 'It is great, ' he said. 'We have had to work on the brief with the RSPCA, which has come from the concept of the ideal elephant house.'He added: 'We have to understand how elephants exist on a day-to-day basis. How they eat, defecate, how they spend their time and how they move. We have become very interested in their behaviour.'

Sagoo said the scheme was fascinating architecturally. 'The tricky thing is designing a building that is ergonomically pleasing on the scale of elephants and of human beings.'

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