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Chimp house starts on site - image

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Work has begun on Cooper Cromar Architects' £4.5 million chimpanzee house at Edinburgh Zoo.

The 1,400m2 Budongo Primate Experience will be home to around 50 chimps and is being billed as a 'new world-class visitor experience'.

Designed to allow the public as close as possible to the chimpanzees, the building will be split into three separate 'pods' which will be linked to each other - and an outside enclosure - by a series of bridges and tunnels.

Visitors will 'weave' between the top-lit pods, which will offer different 'spatial configurations' for the chimps to play in.

The scheme for the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland will also boast a 200-seat auditorium showing footage of the society-sponsored chimpanzee conservation programme in Uganda.

Behind the front-of-house facilities, the project includes a keeper's office, store room and food preparation area - as well as five bedrooms for the primates away from the public gaze.

by Richard Waite

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