Henry Doorly Zoo Hubbard Gorilla Valley Complex - Omaha, Neb.
The Hubbard Gorilla Valley Complex is a world-class, state-of-the-art primate breeding and exhibit facility completed in April 2004. The existing facility, built in 1966, was too small to meet the needs of animals and curators. The new facility enhances the zoo's reputation in gorilla conservation by expanding the gorilla population and providing areas for reproductive research and health programs.
The project involved constructing a 24,400-square-foot main exhibit building and a 450-foot-long pedestrian walkway tunnel through the outdoor valley; remodeling the existing Owen Gorilla House; and developing a three-acre site surrounded by a 15-foot concrete barrier wall. One of the central issues in designing and constructing a facility of this nature was the nonexistence of "Gorilla Proof" specifications. Every piece of the caging partitions and hardware had to be field measured and custom fabricated to fit the concrete openings and exposed piping.