From the desert to the jungle
As of today, our numerous visitors will again be able to visit the first floor of the Aquarium. The entire storey was rebuilt over a period of twelve months, without the need to halt operations. “Terrariums have been combined, the number of animals has been reduced, and concrete enclosures have been transformed into natural habitats,” says Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. The first floor of the Tropical Hall was divided into a wet and a dry zone to reflect the natural habitats of the reptiles. Until now, the enclosures systematically divided snakes from lizards. The new larger terrariums and glass dividing walls now create the impression of walking through an arid desert landscape, which, after just a few steps, turns into lush green wetland. Replica casts of actual rocks and crags form an authentic rocky landscape.
The Crocodile Hall is a definite highlight. Covering two floors, it was the first-ever walk-through animal enclosure in the world. The walls and floors recreate the animals’ natural habitats, and an authentic-looking jungle bridge leads visitors over dangerous waters where caimans and turtles eagerly await their next meal. Like the aquariums and terrariums, the Crocodile Hall has been equipped with energy-saving LED lights. Special spotlights give the reptiles the UV light they need even in cloudy weather. Plus, a new air-conditioning system on the ground floor and in the insect area ensures that visitors keep cool in the Aquarium whatever the weather.
The around 1,000 m² reptile area was redesigned in collaboration with Studio Grafico Naturalistico, Natcon Nature Construction Sima GmbH & Co. KG, and Limpressione – Wood & Rock Decoration. And illusionist painter Lars Oschatz once again showed off his incredible skill. Zoo and Tierpark Director Knieriem, who lives a stone’s throw from the turtles, crocodiles and snakes, is happy with the listed building’s new natural appearance: “As a former amateur aquarist and immediate neighbour, I cared a great deal about the renovation of the Aquarium. I would like to thank all the companies involved in the project and, above all, our own employees. Alongside our numerous other new openings, we managed to modernise the facilities in the entire building discreetly, almost without anyone noticing. Carrying out renovation projects without closing is an enormous challenge, as we already know.” Knieriem is satisfied with the results: “Specialists will value the wealth of detail that has gone into the project. Aquarium Berlin can now again live up to its excellent international reputation.”