Munich's Hellabrunn Zoo: 12,000 veneer strips make the visitors' area of the monkey-house enchanting
Bad Honnef/Munich. Even the residents marvelled at the result: The visitors' area of the monkey-house in Munich's Hellabrunn zoo has been completely redesigned. And it has been done so impressively: Around 12,000 veneer strips made of ash, oak, birch, beech and walnut now hang from the ceiling and make the room enchanting in an inimitable way.
The veneer strips, made by joining lengths using a special bonding method by the specialist Furwa Furnierkanten, are between 40 and 60 cm long. Their surface was not finished with either lacquer or oil. As a result, the more than 1,100 square metres of freely accessible veneer surface exude their natural wood odour and in doing so help to create a pleasant atmosphere in the room. “The special bonding was necessary in view of the substantially fluctuating humidity and recurring air circulation in the spectator area of the monkey-house, said Roland Reigbert, managing director of Furwa. “We bonded in an invisible glass fibre fabric to prevent possible breaking of the veneer layers, added Reigbert. The interior finishing work of the visitors' area was undertaken by the Köberlein joinery in Fahrenzhausen. “Holes were made in all the veneer strips and they were hung by threads in the pre-mounted screw eyes of the ceiling elements. This means that the veneer strips on the ceiling can always move slightly, just like the leaves in the jungle, explained the contractor. “There have been many great projects using the natural product veneer. But this one really is something extraordinary. Anyone entering the room in Hellabrunn Zoo is immediately captivated by the natural ambience of the fantastic material from the best of the tree, said Ursula Geismann, Secretary of Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN), about the Project. IFN/DS
How veneer is made:
Veneer is obtained from the wood of selected trees, which are mainly grown in sustainably managed forests. The tree species mostly used are Maple, Beech, Oak, Ash and Walnut from domestic, European and in the case of Oak, Maple and Walnut, from American forests too. If the right tree has been found it is peeled, sliced or sawn. This produces sheets of wood, which are around 0.45 to 6 millimetres thick. These are dried, stacked according to quality and grade, are cut and are put together to form a deck. These veneer decks are then bonded and pressed onto substrate materials such as solid wood laminboards, particleboards, MDF panels, multiplex panels or plywood.
Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN)
Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN) e.V. was founded in 1996 by the German veneer industry and its partners. The purpose of the association based in Bad Honnef is to promote veneer as a material. It is funded and supported by European companies in the veneer industry, trade and the veneer processing industry as well as professional associations of the timber industry.
The visitors' area of the monkey-house during the construction work. Photo: Matthias Groppe, Paderborn
12,000 veneer strips were individually hung on the ceiling of the visitors' area. Photo: Matthias Groppe, Paderborn
A resident of the monkey-house monitors the construction work. Photo: Matthias Groppe, Paderborn
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