‘Roaring’ success for AkzoNobel at ZSL London Zoo

There’s no doubt that the King of the Jungle deserves all the respect he gets. And there’s nothing like getting up close and personal with such grace, beauty and power.

It’s simply primal. Founded in 1826, ZSL London Zoo is steeped in history. Run by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) the site in Regent’s Park is home to more than 750 different species. ZSL know that the visitor experience is everything and ‘pride’ themselves on providing a unique encounter whenever they can. Within roaring distance of the lions, the Gir Lion Lodges are tucked away within the Land of the Lions exhibit. Guests bed down for the night in beautifully decorated lodges inspired by the welcoming charm of hotels in the Asiatic lion’s native Gir Forest home in India.

When the zoo was creating this new experience they needed suppliers and manufacturers that could provide the high levels of design and finishing for the ideas they had in mind. It would be a perfect project for leisure building designers Pinelog and coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel to highlight both their quality and innovation.

From summerhouses to large commercial leisure centres, Pinelog provides architecturally designed leisure buildings from its Derbyshire base. Predominantly manufactured from Scandinavian redwood and larch, these buildings are used in a wide range of applications throughout the UK. Supported by experienced technical, manufacturing and management teams and calling upon over 30 years’ experience, Pinelog provides the highest levels of service. Paula Skelton, Associate Director, Pinelog commented,

“We were approached by Ray Hole Architects in Croydon to ask if we were interested in quoting for ten small overnight ‘pods’ for a project at ZSL London Zoo. ZSL had already had success with overnight cabins at Lookout Lodge, at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and wanted to expand the concept to their London site with en-suite lodges to create one of London’s most unique overnight experiences”. She went on to add, “we were initially recommended by a trustee of ZSL who had one of our buildings, he liked the quality and design and thought our product would suit the job.”

The new venture would entail Pinelog manufacturing and supplying ten pre-manufactured timber frame en-suite bedroom lodges. They would be individually coloured and themed for visitor overnight accommodation alongside the Land of the Lions project. In a seamless nod towards their environment the lodges would be called the ‘Gir Lion Lodge’.

The Gir Lion Lodges would be a perfect fit for AkzoNobel’s SIKKENS CETOL® WF 771 one- pot system coatings system.

Paula Skelton went on to further comment,

“Pinelog already uses the CETOL® WF 771 system on its range of larch clad lodges where an easily maintainable colour stain is required on the timber. We also currently use a range of Sikkens coatings on other projects”.

With SIKKENS CETOL® WF 771, Sikkens Wood Coatings provide a special product which is highly protective against the damaging effects of UV light and moisture. Its transparent film deluges and fills the pores in the wood with the Saturator-Effekt® and therefore increases its durability. Flaking of the coating does not occur. The Self Stratifying© binder used in CETOL® WF 771 is modularly based: The first component ensures good adhesion to the substrate, the second component offers very good protection against UV light and moisture. This low build, low sheen translucent system is especially suitable for medium to highly exposed wood surfaces such as outdoor decks, garden furniture, roof soffits and cladding.

Paula Skelton further said,

“The design concept was that the Gir Lion Lodges would resemble Gujarati wooden huts, so detailing was important. Schemes were chosen to reflect as closely as possible typical Gujarati colours. The colours used were selected from the SIKKENS ‘Never Ending Impressions’ range which suited the design perfectly.”

Ian Crawford, Sales Manager, Joinery, AkzoNobel said,

“Pinelog are a long-standing, valued customer of ours specialising in the leisure market, holiday lodges and leisure pools. Our SIKKENS CETOL® WF 771 was the ideal product for this prestigious project. It’s technical qualities, ease of application, colour vibrancy and trouble-free maintenance made it a perfect choice.”

The Land of the Lions exhibit, where the Gir Lion Lodge is located, was officially opened by HM Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 17th March 2016 with the Lodges opened to the first public visitors at the end of May 2016.

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. Calling on centuries of expertise, they supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and sustainable technologies designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet.

To see the list of UK and Ireland distributors www.sikkens-wood-coatings.co.uk/en/home.html. Contact them for further details on their product offers, specifications and specialist industry advice.