Copyright (c) 2011 Morel Hudson
The new lower section development at Sydney Toranga Park Zoo required the building of the Seal Theatre which would need to accomodate thousands of visitors every week. Sydney Tarongo Zoo attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year and the new seal theatre is a primary attraction within the zoo having multiple shows every day. Taronga Zoo is a premier event location in Sydney, Australia attracting visitors from around the world as well as from across Australia.
Like most zoos around the world the need to update the experiences for visitors as well as upgrade animal enclosures is a costly and critical ongoing process. Hence, the investment into the new seal amphitheatre was a significant impact upon the capital expenditure budget of the zoo and had to have long term return on investment. Moreoverm the seal amphitheatre had to value add to the well-being and training of the seals themselves who love performing in front of audiences.
The construction process involved the major contractor choosing the best mode of seating for the seal enclosure for visitors and also the seals and then sourcing the right provider for the design, manufacture and installation of aluminium seating to cater for the thousands of zoo visitors and also for the seals as their performance props during their shows.
There were specific construction and design issues related to the project including zoo's proximity to Sydney Harbour, the very high visitor numbers every year, visitor comfort, weight of the seals for their seats, the need for low maintenance and high durability and importantly a long life cycle of the seating. Aluminium seating was the chosen option over many other material seat options such as timber seating or plastic seating or even steel seating.
Aluminium seats are both lightweight and also very strong and require little ongoing maintenance and cleaning. The seating contract was awarded to a highly experienced Sydney aluminium seats manufacturer who needed to fulfill all the of the projects specifications requirements on time and on budget.
The manufacturing challenges included making certain that seats would not corrode due to contact with salt seawater, the weight bearing on the seats with the thousands of visitors to the shows and seating was also needed for the seals in their show with their weight at 300kg. The solution was to design and manufacture aluminium plain bench seats with custom height bolt down supports and for added protection the seat supports were powder coated and end caps were added to provide extra support. Also to cater for the very heavy weights of the seals spacing between supports was closed to give seating more strength.
The end result was a tremendous success with an aesthetic pleasing seal enclosure with highly functional and low maintenance seating.
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Article Added on Sunday, July 29, 2012
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