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Cornette-Violetta's US$7.3m hippo exhibit completes Cincinnati Zoo’s US$34m Africa masterplan

After a near two-decade delay, Cincinnati Zoo’s US$34m (€30m, £22m) Africa exhibit will enter its final phase of development after meeting a US$7.3m (€6.4m, £4.7m) target to build a new state-of-the-art hippo exhibit.

Set to house two Nile hippos, the paddock – designed by architects Cornette-Violetta – will include an underwater viewing area for visitors, employing a multi-million dollar bespoke filtration system designed to manage the large amount of waste produced by the hippos on a daily basis. Cincinnati-based HGC Construction – which also developed several of the zoo’s other exhibits – is general contractor for the development. Satchell Engineering & Associates designed the filtration system and Thelen Associates are acting as geotechnical engineers.

The new exhibit is being developed to LEED standards, something the zoo holds in high regard as it has been dubbed the “greenest zoo in America.”

"The hippo exhibit would not have been possible without the lead gift from The Farmer Family Foundation and more than 20 totalling more than US$500,000 (€440,000, £323,600)," said Reba Dysart, director of development at the Cincinnati Zoo. "We're thankful to all the businesses and individuals who said yes when we asked for support."

Assuming all goes according to plan, the final piece of the zoo’s Africa masterplan will be complete by Q3 2016. The final development is not only the culmination of two decades of development but it will also be the largest animal exhibit in the zoo’s history.

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After a near two-decade delay, Cincinnati Zoo’s US$34m (€30m, £22m) Africa exhibit will enter its final phase of development after meeting a US$7.3m (€6.4m, £4.7m) target to build a new state-of-the-art hippo exhibit. Set to house two Nile hippos, the paddock – designed by architects Cornette-Violetta – will include an underwater viewing area for visitors, employing a multi-million dollar bespoke filtration system designed to manage the large amount of waste
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The filtration system has been incorporated into the design, hidden by rock-like structures / Cornette-Violetta
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