iHUS Changing Places are proud to have completed a project at one of the UK’s most historical zoos; ZSL London Zoo. Delivered quickly and making a huge difference already, we are delighted that more people can now enjoy a full day out at what has got to be one of the country’s most inclusive zoos.
Read the case study below, including visitor feedback.
ZSL London Zoo has the honour of being the world’s oldest scientific zoo and houses one of the largest animal populations in the UK. Opened in 1828 for scientific study, it wasn’t until 1847 that the zoo opened the gates to the public for the first time – the zoo instantly became one of London’s top attractions and is to this day, at the top of many a tourist’s bucket list.
Set at the edge of Regent’s Park, ZSL London Zoo contains many listed buildings, beautiful gardens and due to the city centre location, space must be carefully managed – for the welfare of the animals, visitor enjoyment and the preservation of the site. A tall order!
With such site constraints, you may be surprised to discover just how inclusive and accessible the zoo already was before the Changing Places Installation.
Nearly every exhibit inside the zoo can be accessed by wheelchair users, some exhibits including Tiger Territory even have lifts to aid visitors with mobility issues access to higher viewing points. People with disabilities have long been able to bring a carer with them, free of charge and many of the staff around the zoo have undertaken disability awareness training.
Staff were already aware of the difference a Changing Places facility would make to some of their guests – the zoo has in the past, erected temporary Changing Places bathrooms, at peak visitor times.
We are thrilled to now have a year-round Changing Places right at the heart of the zoo. Our bigger, better, custom designed space means we can welcome a wider range of visitors, year-round to enjoy the site and our wonderful new exhibit.
ZSL London Zoo, Senior Project Manager, Kate Rawlinson
ZSL London Zoo approached us to help them welcome even more guests with the addition of a permanent Changing Places toilet – to be completed as part of the new Animal Adventure exhibit, right at the heart of the zoo.
Working in partnership with the Zoos architects, it was decided that the new facility would be constructed by off-site and then slotted into the ideal location. This method meant that the site didn’t have to renovate any existing buildings and building work was kept to a minimum. Our team installed the facility in just one day – this no fuss approach was ideal for a site where major building works must be meticulously planned due to the presence of animals onsite and some of the existing buildings being heritage listed.
Located inside the new Animal Adventure exhibit, the 12-metre squared facility we installed is fully equipped with a ceiling track hoist, height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a height adjustable wash basin and a peninsular toilet. To make the facility welcoming and on brand, we added a bespoke feature wall inside the loo featuring a perky porcupine!
The project was completed in time for Changing Places campaigner, Karen to visit the zoo for son Max’ birthday. Max uses a wheelchair due to his muscular dystrophy and has an additional Autism diagnosis.
Karen, who works for Muscular Dystrophy UK, said;
“the entire visit has been fantastic, without access to a Changing Places bathroom we have struggled in the past, sometimes having to leave one child at home.
The new facility means Max has been able to use the bathroom safely and confidently, in a pleasant setting. The entire site is great for accessibility too – with lifts and ramps everywhere.
All of these features plus the new toilet mean we can visitor for longer and we felt really welcomed by the staff.”
With over 30 years’ experience in construction, iHUS are one of the UK’s leading disabled adaptations companies – specialising in the design and installation of Changing Places facilities.
Get in touch to book a consultation and discover how you can open your business to more people. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01302 247 777 to learn more.