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Außenansicht des neuen Orang-Utan-Hauses

Construction of the new Orangutan House

At last the starting signal has been given for the construction of a new house for our orangutans. At a total projected cost of € 22 million, it is the largest construction project in Dresden Zoo’s history. Following an intensive planning and consultation phase, our long-held wish to create a suitable enclosure that provides as natural a habitat as possible for our orangutans is finally taking shape.

Project goal

Orang-Utan ToniOur current orangutan house does not meet the latest standards for modern and innovative animal accommodation. Despite the significant breeding successes that have been achieved with these endangered great apes and the devoted care of our keepers, urgent action is required to bring our enclosures up to current animal accommodation standards.

The new Orangutan House is being built not just for our older current residents, but primarily for future generations of orangutans. The most important innovation is in making the spatial design match the orangutans’ natural social structure. Enclosures will therefore be built to accommodate female orangutans and their young, with separate enclosures for solitary males.

Outdoor enclosures

Model view of Orangutan House.Orangutans are native to South East Asia, where they dwell in the safety of the trees of the tropical rainforests. It was important to incorporate the orangutans’ native habitat into the design of their new facility, and the idea thus emerged to create an “indoor” outdoor enclosure. By building a circular protective structure around the outdoor enclosure, the animals will be better protected both against harsh weather conditions and noise. This will also enable the orangutans to make use of the outdoor enclosures for a greater proportion of the year. Despite being covered, priority was given to providing the possibility for the orangutans to see far and wide from within the enclosure. There was therefore an additional planning focus on the vertical design of the enclosure. With an overall height of 10 metres, the orangutans will be able to look out across the Zoo and Grand Garden from their observation points.

The future residents

In addition to the orangutans, other species native to South East Asia will also be moving into the new house: these include the Aldabra giant tortoises Hugo II, III and IV already resident in the Zoo, as well as completely new species such as the smooth-coated otter, which is rarely seen in zoos, and another attractive species of monkey from the langur group. It is envisaged that the new monkey species will be socialised with the orangutans. Various reptiles in their terrariums will also be moving into the new enclosure.


Three tropical landscape areas

Landscape concept

The natural habitat of Dresden Zoo’s resident Sumatran orangutans is the tropical rainforest of Sumatra.

Besides the rainforest, tropical habitats also incorporate a variety of other landscapes. Different biotopes of the tropics will be presented in and around the new orangutan house. Visitors will be guided through three themed areas representing the different biotopes:


  • the “Green jungle” with a view into the binturong enclosure, the “Green mountains and valleys beneath giant trees”
  • the hilly outdoor enclosure of the orangutans and the river valley of the smooth-coated otters
  • and the “Tropical beach” with a view into the giant tortoise enclosure.

Areas and costs


Usable areaapprox. 2,095 m²
Net floor areaapprox. 3,440 m²
Gross floor areaapprox. 4,164 m²
Gross building volumeapprox. 21,173 m³


Model view of Orangutan House

Costs* gross

On-site infrastructureapprox. € 400,000
Buildingapprox. € 15,000,000
Outdoor enclosuresapprox. € 3,000,000
Technology in outdoor enclosuresapprox. € 800,000
Additional building costsapprox. € 2,800,000
Sum totalapprox. € 22.000,000


*As at: 05/01/2024

Financing and donations

The total sum of around € 22 million is being financed on the one hand by a loan and on the other by donations. Donations totalling € 1,2 million have already been raised (as at December 2022).



Loan€ 12 m
Dresden Zoo’s own resources€ 7,35 m
Donations from Friends of Dresden Zoo€ 650,000
Fundraising campaign€ 2,2 m


Post card: Toni says Thank you!


→ Pre-planning approval 05/2020

→ Design development 09/2020

→ Submission of planning permission application 10/2020

→ Planning permission approved 03/2021

→Start of construction 07/2021

→ Construction time approx. 35 months

Scheduled opening of Orangutan House: summer 2024

Project delivery

Commissioned by: Zoo Dresden GmbH

Architecture: Heinle, Wischer und Partner Free Architects

Landscape architecture: Rehwaldt Landscape Architects

Building services planning: ILK Dresden

Structural planning: HJW + Partner

Donate now

Our account details for your donation are as follows:

Zoo Dresden GmbH
IBAN DE66 8505 0300 0225 8174 38
Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden
Payment reference: Orang-Haus

Dresden Zoo orangutan donation form 2023

Visualisation of visitor paths through the outdoor enclosure of the new Orangutan House.

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