Hippos returned to the Cincinnati Zoo after a 20-year absence with the opening of Hippo Cove. The $7.5 million project is the latest addition to the African exhibits. The exhibit provides underwater viewing for close-ups of Henry and Bibi, the 3,000 plus pound residents. A 70,000-gallon pool with a waterfall is showcased by a 60-foot long glass viewing area, allowing guests to see how large these animals really are. The viewing area is designed to resemble a thatch lean-to shelter. The dry portions of the exhibit include earth bank textures and significant Kopje rock outcroppings.
This project was recently recognized with the ABC Award of Excellence.
COST was hired to assist with models, shop drawings, fabrication, and construction of rockwork, earthen embankments, molded fiberglass logs, and two concrete (GFRC) Hippopotamus sculptures. These sculptures serve as wayfinding features into the exhibit space. The team included construction manager HGC Construction and architect/designer Cornette Violettta.