Penguin Pool, London Zoo

Tecton Group, London, 1934


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  • Reflections of the sprial ramps on the pool    
  • End view of the pool showing the arrangement of the ramps    
  • Penguins enjoying the pool    
  • View showing the numerous different levels and materials used    
  • Two penguins make their way rown the ramp    
  • View of pool from the north east    
  • Plan    
  • Cross Section    
  • Longitudinal section    

Elliptical shaped penguin pool built in reinforced concrete incorporating swimming pool, diving tank, spiral ramps and nesting boxes

The brief looked to create an environment that would allow the birds to have more space but also prevent them from the boredom that often overtakes zoo inhabitants.

The large elliptical pool provides the birds with a large swimming area, while partially shaded areas give protection from the direct sun. The gently curved walls echo the penguin's cries.

Constructed in reinforced concrete the elliptical shape is structurally useful as the pool is below ground level. The spiral ramps are cantilevered from their two ends, and have no support other than the reinforced concrete. A variety of materials are used for the surfaces of the pool, ranging from plastic rubber, slate for the steps and Venetian blue stone covering paint.

In 1987 the pool underwent restoration and is now a water feature. The penguins have moved to a larger, more natural habitat.


  • Begun: 1933
  • Completed: 1934
  • Sector: Sports and leisure
  • Total cost: £3,000
  • Address: Outer Circle , Regent's Park , London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom

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