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Polar Bear Pit, Dudley Zoo, Dudley Castle: visitors watching the polar bears from the circular terrace

RIBA Ref No RIBA28681
Architect/DesignerLubetkin & Tecton
Artist/PhotographerFelton, Leo Herbert (d. 1968)
CountryUK: England
Subject Date1937
Image Date1937
StyleModern Movement
Library Reference5045/1 (Felton R. 40)
Colour InfoBlack and white
CreditRIBA Collections
SubjectConcrete ; Zoo buildings ; Animals ; Terraces
NOTES: Lubetkin and Tecton adapted a deep natural ravine to provide these three enclosures with the circular polar bear arena situated in the centre ringed by an elevated terrace. This terrace spanned the ravine and afforded excellent viewing facilities for spectators. In addition there were lower viewing areas and the lions and tigers could roam over the various concrete slabs placed at differing levels in the steeply-sided ravine. For the polar bears a diving ramp and an eight-foot deep swimming-pool were provided.

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Dudley Zoo, Dudley Castle: the entrance kiosks shielded by overlapping concrete canopies

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NOTES: This commission was the outcome of the succesful modernist work Lubetkin and Tecton had already undertaken at London and Whipsnade zoos. The entrance spans a wide front and is comprised of five ticket kiosks containing eight entrance turnstiles and two exits executed in brick. These are set beneath a roof of independently-supported curved concrete slabs.