Group projects

Edinburgh Zoo: Penguin Pool Enhancement

Contract Value  £90k
Contract Period  Dec 2012 to Mar 2013
Contract Form  SBCC Minor Works with Contractor’s Design
Client  Royal Zoological Society Scotland (RZSS)
Architect  Fletcher Joseph
Project Manager Turner & Townsend


The penguin pool at Edinburgh Zoo is one of the park’s most famous and recognisable attractions. However in recent years the pool has become neglected and in much need of renovation. P1 were contracted by RZSS to enhance the viewing experience for visitors and bring the attraction up to date.

Description of works

  • Create new paved viewing area with boulder wall and low level glazed handrails
  • Replace existing mesh panels on bridge with low level glazed handrails
  • Install glazed screens to existing mesh fencing
  • Install handrails for zoo staff
  • Create new ‘themed’ rock entrance
  • Install coloured acrylic panels to pool boundary

P1 began the project alongside the waterproofing and filtration pump contractors. Coordinating our works was critical given the reduced working space. After early budget changes, P1 re-designed the rock entrance using artificial concrete applied to a steel core to provide the appearance of natural stone. P1’s flexible and pro-active approach ensured a healthy working relationship with RZSS and a finished product to all parties satisfaction.

There were a number of constraints during the construction phase that made the project a challenging one. The zoo was open throughout the contract, and thus vehicle movement and delivery restrictions were in place during busy periods. ‘Quiet periods’ were also introduced to not disturb the Giant pandas in the adjacent enclosure.

The project was completed to budget and in time for the crucial penguin and panda breeding seasons.