The Elephant and Rhinoceros House

Casson, Conder and Partners, London, 1966


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

South east corner of the Elephant House, from paddock 

Galwey Arphot     Download Original

  • South east corner of the Elephant House, from paddock    
  • View from north - service yard and ramp on left    
  • South side from Regents Park    
  • View from south east    
  • Driinking trough placed between pens    
  • Elephant pen and moat    
  • Looking into rhino pen from viewing area    
  • Looking through the funnel over the pen    
  • Public area looking towards elephant pens    
  • Slit windows light the mess room    
  • Textures - elephant and the elephant house    
  • Site plan    
  • Plan    
  • Roof plan of timbers    
  • Section    

Grade II listed home for Elephants and Rhinos at London Zoo. The plan groups the animals in paired pens around a central watering place

The 'house' occupies an island site near the southern boundary of the garden and was the first major building in the main area of the gardens to be completed in accordance with the redevelopment plan of 1956.

The building housed four elephants and four rhinoceroses in paired pens, each with access to sickbay pens and to moated external paddocks.

The pens are arranged round a central hall for the public, who circulate through the building at a slightly lover level on an S-shaped route. On the main level there is a washing pool for the animals in view of the public.

The building stands among existing trees on a small mound formed from the excavated soil. The animals, when in their paddocks, are seen against the curved concrete walls, which have a vertically ribbed texture.

Construction is reinforced concrete with a brick inner skin protecting polystyrene insulation. The roof structure over the public area is of laminated timber beams set in metal shoes. Tall green lanterns give the impression from above of elephants gathering around a water hole.


  • Completed: 1966
  • Sector: Sports and leisure
  • Address: Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom

Professional Team