Mangrove Hall Burgers’ Zoo

  • Date
  • 1982
  • Location
  • Netherlands, Arnheim
  • Size
  • 800 m²
  • Sector
  • Botanic, Zoos
  • Structure
  • Steel
  • Application
  • Roofs
  • Architect
  • ABT Adviesbureau voor Bouwtechniek


When the privately owned Burgers’ Zoo located the large woods just outside Arnhem first opened its doors to the public in 1913, visitors were amazed. Never before had they seen such exotic animals being housed in large enclosures that tried to replicate their natural habitats. This was a marked difference from how animals were kept in other zoos at that time.


Since then the Burgers’ Zoos commitment to animal welfare, conservation and the environment have been exemplary. It has created one of the only self-sustaining man made ecologies on planet where no fertilisers or insecticides are used. In 1982, Dr Van Hof of Burgers’ Zoo commissioned The Mangrove Hall – a small cable structure made from Texlon® ETFE. This was the first ETFE foil structure in the world and it surpassed performance expectations and the material itself has shown no visible signs of deterioration. The building is still fully functional today. Dr Van Hof went on to procure several buildings from Vector Foiltec, including the world famous Burgers Zoo Rainforest, which changed the way zoos were perceived.


Texlon® ETFE foils are incredibly transparent and allow high levels of light transmission into buildings. Animals and visitors can enjoy an outdoor feeling while being protected from the elements. High levels of visible light and ultraviolet UV-A light are essential for plant growth. They pass unfiltered through Texlon® ETFE – a single layer of 100µm foil allows more than 90% of visible light and 80% of UV-A rays to pass through. This leads to a so-called bactericidal effect of light transmission, a natural phenomenon that kills bacteria, which means that plants thrive as if they were in their natural environment.


Main Image: © Andreas Braun