In Poland the Zoo of Wroclaw contains the Afrykarium, an oceanarium where you can see specimens of flora and fauna from the African continent. The facade of the building that contains the Afrykarium is a novelty, made with 6000 square meters of DuPont™ Corian® technosurface, the material with high functional and aesthetic performance for architecture and design.
The new building designed by ArC2 Fabryka Projektowa to contain the Afrykarium is 160 meters long and 54 meters wide, with a height of 15 meters. The facade presents five different habitats and the live-giving waters of Africa. Its form is like a large black wave that looms over the entrance. The black facade has been made with panels of DuPont™ Corian® in the shade of black known as Nocturne.
The original project called for black cladding of the main building of the Afrykarium B37 Gunite mortar, with a thickness of 8 cm, using sheets of 15 square meters of basalt, smoothed and polished. After prototypes were made and the production technology had been developed, it was discovered that the grinding process alone would take over a year and a half, a time span not acceptable for the Zoo, in the immediate vicinity of the animals.
So an alternative solution had to be found, with these priorities: panels with black color, of large size, capable of responding to the specific needs of the physics of construction. They had to perform well in contact with water, be quick to make and install, and long lasting.
DuPont™ Corian® met all these requirements: black, with a glossy surface, easy to cut for expansion joints, offering safety and speed of assembly. Rainwater is shed and ends up in the ponds and troughs for the animals without any harmful substances, a fundamental condition for the biologists. The interspaces permit evaporation inside a building with humidity equal to 80%.