The Deep, operating as an education and conservation charity in Hull, and in recent years becoming an international player in marine conservation, has undergone development to its’ penguin enclosure with Accoya® wood, the world-leading high performance, sustainable wood product. Located in Hull, East Yorkshire it is one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world, and is home to 5,000 animals including magnificent sharks and rays, as well as penguins. The dramatic building, which overlooks the Humber estuary, was designed by world class architects, Sir Terry Farrell and Partners.
With opportunities to view the penguins from different areas, The Deep is the only location in the North of England where the public can see Gentoo penguins. Their home runs over three floors and features a chilled swimming pool, beach and nesting areas as well as the penguins’ very own outdoor balcony with views overlooking the Humber. The exhibit has been created with the penguins’ comfort in mind and boasts climate control and natural lighting cycles to provide essential behavioural cues for breeding and moulting.
Accoya® was the ideal choice for this project thanks to its exceptional durability, reliability and stability properties. Non-toxic and with a guarantee of 50 years above ground and 25 years in ground/freshwater, Accoya® wood can withstand the damp conditions within the penguin enclosure, whilst resisting distortion and warping over its lifetime.
25x150mm Accoya® pieces were used as decking boards, bolted to a stainless steel frame, on the entrance walkway of the enclosure. A few offcuts were also used to construct a gate and others were scattered as debris in line with the displays theme concept. All Accoya® was sandblasted to artificially weather it and accentuate the grain. The planks were left uncoated.
James Denman, aquarist at The Deep commented: “It was wholeheartedly agreed that Accoya® would be the best solution for a long term outcome due to its hard wearing, versatile nature. The fact that Accoya® doesn’t require treatment for longevity in a wet/dry areas definitely appealed to us. When creating an exhibit for birds, the less chemicals used the better as they are incredibly sensitive.”