A bright new cladding for the façades of Pécs Zoo
When it was first set up back in 1960, Pécs Zoo in Hungary was a small animal shelter consisting solely of a terrarium — an enclosed habitat for animals — and an aquarium. Set in a natural context well away from built-up areas and major roads, it is located in the Mecsek hills in southern Hungary, close to the border with Croatia. It was originally built by a small group of university students with the aid of local workers with the aim of housing a number of animal species on a 3.5-hectare site. After a low-key launch, the zoo rapidly grew in importance and soon began housing exotic animals. In 2016, it reopened following major renovation work and with considerably extended grounds. It is now home to over a thousand animals from more than 250 species, including a number of exotic animals which have proved very popular with visitors and have helped transform the zoo into one of the country’s best-known tourist attractions.
In terms of its composition, the present-day structure consists of a new reception centre complete with terrarium, aquarium (hosting both freshwater and marine animal species) and a seal reserve, and a multifunctional conference centre.
The grounds surrounding the structure mainly host species of flora and fauna originating from the nearby Mecsek mountains, although there are also theme sections reserved for domestic and exotic animals.
The renovation project was assigned to the Hungarian architecture practice Nara Studio, which opted for a minimalist contemporary style. Serving as a kind of visiting card for people arriving at the zoo, the façades highlight the modernity of the structure thanks to the use of large 100×300 cm Kerlite3plus panels from Cotto d’Este, chosen in the luminous Corail Blanc version from the Buxy collection. The panels were used on the fragmented geometric shapes of the main building’s external façades as well as in other areas of the zoo, ensuring stylistic continuity throughout the complex.
Kerlite3plus is a fibreglass-reinforced laminated porcelain that stands out for its low weight, versatility and high strength. It is the result of an innovative production process that uses a selection of high-quality raw materials to produce ultra-thin panels coloured through the body and enhanced with penetrating salts. The panels have a speckled graphic design reminiscent of Buxy stone from the French region of Burgundy and were chosen in the colour Corail Blanc, a luminous shade that reflects and amplifies the light.
Cotto d'Este, Kerlite Buxy
100X300 cm - spessore 3,5 mm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): A
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant