Zoom Erlebniswelt – Tropenparadies

  • Date
  • 2009
  • Location
  • Germany, Gelsenkirchen
  • Size
  • 4,600 m²
  • Sector
  • Botanic, Zoos
  • Structure
  • Steel
  • Application
  • Roofs
  • Architect
  • Planungsgruppe Zoo


The ZOOM Erlebniswelt allows visitors to experience a piece of the rainforest jungle in the heart of Gelsenkirchen, Germany – the unique wildlife of the Southeast Asian jungle is home to bats, cranes and orangutans. The rich biodiversity of this enclosure is aided by the Texlon® ETFE roof.


The shape of the enclosure is high enough to allow space for the tall vegetation and trees to grow. The printed Texlon® foils provide protection against harmful UV while also offering a high degree of transparency – an important benefit of using Texlon® ETFE for the welfare of animals and plantlife living in such enclosures. With higher light transmission levels than glass, a rainforest environment is emulated with Texlon® ETFE in this tropical biosphere.


Texlon® ETFE foils are incredibly transparent and allow high levels of light transmission into buildings. 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. Another benefit of using Texlon® ETFE foils is that no artificial fertilisers or pesticides are needed for the plants inside the biomes.


Texlon® ETFE is 1% of the weight of glass and therefore requires a far lighter steel structure than its more conventional alternative. Despite this, the material possesses outstanding durability properties, does not degrade under ultraviolet light and is exceptionally long-lasting.



Main Image: © Peter Eberts